It has long been considered that the engineering approaches applied to high density, high speed lines do not necessarily provide the best engineering solution to the problem of signalling low density, rural lines.

Ely to Norwich was one of two pilot projects established to develop a “Modular Signalling” approach to the challenge of cost effectively signalling low density lines.

The Norwich to Ely route was re-signalled as part of a £21m modular signalling contract awarded to Signalling Solutions by Network Rail. This innovative project has been piloting numerous new design aspects with the intention of “modularising” the process and achieving significant cost savings. These include applying standard designs and constructs for interlocking, use of “plug and play” cables and components, lightweight signals obviating the need for associated civil engineering work.

The system, controlling ten stations from Cambridge, was commissioned December 2012 – the first in the UK. It is expected that the approach will be applied to a number of other rural lines in the next few years. Modular signalling has been developed to reduce by up to 25% compared to installing conventional signalling systems.

In September 2012 RT Infrastructure Solutions was asked to provide skilled IRSE licensed signalling teams to assist Signalling Solutions Ltd with the delivery of the ETN project. The requirements included both midweek and weekend shift patterns culminating in a major commissioning in December 2012. A wide range of signalling installation activities have now been undertaken throughout the project and these are continuing throughout 2013.


  • Cable diversion works and modifications in location cases
  • Installation of TPWS fitments & Dorman LED Signal Heads
  • Installation of AZLM axle counters & track circuit interrupters
  • Installation of AWS and Signal Post Telephones
  • All new disconnection boxes for signals, tracks, AWS, Points and TPWS
  • Signalling panel works at Cambridge signal box
  • Installation of level crossing pedestals, barriers & RTL’s
  • Installation of HW points machines & signalling signage
  • Termination of Signalling Plug and Plug cables


Signalling Solutions

Project value




Sep 2012 — April 2013