The famous gantries that controlled trains for more than a century at Barnetby were demolished over the Christmas period, as Network Rail carried out a £100 million upgrade in the greater Lincolnshire area.
Both passenger and freight operators will benefit from the upgrade, which took place during a 17-day blockade (buses replaced trains during the closure).
New colour signals were installed ahead of the railway re-opening on January 11, and the first train to operate on that day was East Midlands Trains’ 0549 Cleethorpes to Newark North Gate.
While the signals were demolished, work was also carried out around the Port of Immingham to boost freight access. This is vital because a quarter of all rail freight enters the country here, and the £100m scheme has brought with it a capacity boost with more reliable infrastructure.
Rob McIntosh is the Route Managing Director for NR in the region. “This huge upgrade has seen us replace 100-year-old equipment with the most up-to-date signalling technology,” he said.
“This is the biggest railway upgrade in the region for decades, and one which will benefit both passengers and industry alike. I am delighted that the work has been completed on time and on budget.”
Mike Sellers, ABP Port Manager Grimsby & Immingham, said: “These much-needed upgrades will ensure our customers and all port users enjoy an improved level of service. The Port of Immingham currently handles one quarter of all UK rail freight, and is a critical link in the UK supply chain.”
Lord Haskins, Chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are pleased to support this important investment through our Growth Deal. The Humber ports are a critical part of national infrastructure and a key component of the Northern Powerhouse. These improvements will support their future growth and provide better infrastructure for passengers and freight users for years to come.”