Seven Cambridgeshire level crossings set for upgrades of 40-year-old systems

A number of level crossings in South Cambridgeshire are planned to be upgraded as part of a wider project to update railway infrastructure in the area. Network Rail wants to replace signalling systems installed in the 1980s which it said are reaching the end of its “reliable life”.

Most of the re-signalling project is due to be carried out under permitted development rights, but permission is needed for seven level crossing upgrades. Network Rail has submitted a Transport and Works application for this permission, which local planning authorities can comment on.

In documents submitted to the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service it said: “The Cambridge interlocking was commissioned in 1982 and is approaching the end of its reliable life. The aim of the Cambridge re-signalling relock and re-control project is to bring back the re-signalling system in the Cambridge interlocking area, which currently reflects approximately 34 percent delay cost to signalling equipment and systems.

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The upgrade will improve performance and reliability of the network.” The seven level crossings planned to be upgraded are Milton Fen, Dimmock’s Cote, Six Mile Bottom, Dullingham, Croxton, Waterbeach, and Meldreth.

All of the crossings are proposed to become ‘manually controlled barriers monitored by obstacle detection’. Network Rail said the overall scheme will have a number of benefits, including improved reliability, and reduced operational costs.

It said: “The overall objective of the project is to renew the life-expired signalling assets and replace 1980s signalling panel with a modern video display unit control system. The land to be acquired under the order is a key enabler for this to allow for the upgrading of the noted seven level crossings. Without completing this renewal project the route would be at risk of poor asset reliability and reduced capacity should routes or assets be signed out of use.”

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