New signals should mean improved train journeys

BETTER train journeys are in prospect between Bognor Regis and London.

Network Rail has confirmed it is to upgrade the signalling along the Arun Valley line which connects the town to the capital.

The scheme is due to start shortly. The new signals should be working by next October. The work has been welcomed by Trevor Tupper, membership secretary of the West Sussex Rail Users’ Association.

He told its members: “The scheme will renew all the signalling between Christ’s Hospital and Amberley with modern colour light signals that will not only increase route capacity but also improve headways, increasing reliability in this area of the network.

b Level crossings on the route will be renewed and re-controlled.”

The Arun Valley line’s stretch between the stations is one of the last main lines in Britain where mechanical signalling is still used.

It is controlled by three 19th-Century signal boxes at Billingshurst, Pulborough and Amberley.

Links between the two rail lines will also be given signals to enable trains to switch tracks during engineering works. But the project will involve weekend disruption.