Network Rail's east Kent signalling project to complete

Red signal
Image caption The new system will give signallers more options when handling trains

A two-year project to renew 60-year old signalling on a section of railway in east Kent is nearing completion.

By 3 January, Network Rail will have installed 188 signals, 80 sets of points and a new level crossing on 62 miles of railway.

The work is being carried out on routes from Sittingbourne to Minster via Ramsgate and Faversham to Buckland Junction via Canterbury East.

The new system is being switched across in phases during the holiday period.

'More flexibility'

Dave Ward, Network Rail's route managing director for Kent, said: "This £120m investment in the latest signalling technology brings the railway in east Kent into the 21st Century and on a par with leading railways in Europe, Japan and the USA."

The old system, which was installed in the 1950s, used levers, bells and pulleys to control signals and points.

This being replaced with a computerised system and simplified track layout giving signallers more flexibility when controlling train movements.

During the switchover some sections of the line are being closed and a bus replacement service put in operation.

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