Siemens Commissions New Signalling at Whitby Station

Posted by Barry Pearson on September 5, 2014  |   Comments Off on Siemens Commissions New Signalling at Whitby Station

On Friday 1 August 2014, Siemens Rail Automation commissioned the new signalling system at Whitby station for North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), with the revised signalling arrangements being signed into operational use.

Whitby station is the terminus for the Esk Valley line, which provides a link to the National Rail network at Middlesbrough and sees regular services running between Pickering and Whitby. However, the station’s single platform severely restricted capacity, so having secured funding from Coastal Community and the National Lottery, together with assistance from Network Rail, NYMR developed this scheme to increase operational capacity by building a new platform and making modifications to the associated track and signalling to support a central locomotive run-round facility.

Commenting on the programme, Siemens’ Regional Engineering Manager, Tony Kornas said: “This project was a real trip into the past and included every vintage of railway signalling equipment from the last 100 years or so. Through the introduction of a revised track layout, the scheme has delivered much-needed additional capacity for the 24-mile NYMR, with Siemens designing simplified signalling infrastructure through a combination of modular signalling technology, including lightweight VMS LED signals and points indicators, and more traditional mechanical points and ground frames.”

NYMR’s Managing Director, Philip Benham, said: “As a heritage railway this has been a ground breaking project for us working on Network Rail infrastructure. We have been very pleased by the helpful and flexible approach shown by Siemens at every stage. While this is been a vital development for our business, if it also points the way for similar schemes elsewhere in the future, so much the better.”

The project also offered development opportunities for Siemens’ trainees and graduates. Working closely with NYMR, the company’s young engineers will continue to gain valuable experience working on the design, installation, and project engineering of several minor upcoming projects, providing an excellent opportunity to accelerate their knowledge and experience in a working rail environment.

First opened in May 1836, the NYMR is one of the most historic lines in the north of England and operated without interruption for well over a century. Although the last British Railways’ passenger service ran in 1965 (a result of dwindling traffic in the 1950s and 60s), strong interest in a line across the moors resulted in re-opening in 1973 between Pickering and Grosmont, the result of a concerted fund raising programme and support from the North York Moors National Park and County Council. In 2007 NYMR train operations were extended over Network Rail infrastructure from Grosmont to Whitby.