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Railhub Archive
2003-06-20 NET-002
Network Rail


Transport Secretary opens signalling centre

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West Cost Main Line
signalling renewals

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Network Rail

Transport Secretary opens signalling centre

20 June 2003
source Network Rail
type Press release

North West & West Midlands

Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP was in Stockport today (20 June) to see for himself the results of a multi-million pound investment in railways in the area. Following on from an engagement at Manchester Airport, Mr Darling arrived by train at Stockport station before going on to officially open the new Manchester South signalling control centre off Stockholm Road. At the station he was met by Virgin Trains customer services manager Barbara Tzavellas, Network Rail project manager Allan Parker and Steve Taylor, site agent for C Spencer Ltd.

While at the station, Mr Parker gave the Secretary of State an insight into the £3.5m redevelopment of the station which is on target for completion next month (July).

Work at the station has included:-
· Demolishing the old ticket office
· Constructing a new ticket office and additional platform above
· Creating an entirely new station entrance
· Installing a lift giving direct access to the new platform
· Building canopies on the new platform
· Re-surfacing and re-lining the station subway
· Constructing a new taxi rank

Funding for the project has come primarily from Network Rail with contributions from Virgin Trains, GMPTE and Stockport council. After his tour of the station, Mr Darling went by road to the new Manchester South signalling control centre, which has been built as part of the £164m project to modernise the railways in the area in connection with the upgrade of the west coast main line railway.

At the centre, James Martin of Network Rail, who is project director for the West Coast Route Modernisation, welcomed him. Mr Martin explained the project in detail and particularly the fact that the new ‘ACC’ signalling system is the first computer-based interlocking to be introduced to the UK. It controls the railway that was formerly looked after by the signal box at Cheadle Hulme and in due course, will replace six Victorian signal boxes in the area.

The new control centre has the operational capacity to control train movements stretching as far south as Sandbach and Wilmslow. Although new to the UK, the system was successfully introduced into Rome three years ago, and is a joint project between Network Rail, AMEC Spie and Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario.

Following a demonstration of signalling principles, Mr Darling unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the signalling control centre, which has been safely looking after train movements since last April.

Contact information

Media Relations (North West & West Midlands)
0161 880 3142

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-06-20 NET-002


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