Passengers were on the move through Stafford again this morning (1 September) after new railway signalling was successfully installed over the bank holiday weekend.

The new system, part of a £250m investment programme, will help to improve performance, reliability and train speeds on the West Coast main line in the Stafford area.

Engineers worked around the clock from the close of service on Friday August 29 until two hours before the first scheduled trains ran today.

The Staffordshire Alliance of Network Rail, VolkerRail, Laing O’ Rourke and Atkins has delivered the work on time and on budget.

Mark Killick, area director for Network Rail, said: “It’s been an exceptionally busy period for us at Stafford culminating in a tremendous effort over the bank holiday.

“We want to thank passengers and the local community for their patience. We’re delighted to have delivered this vital work on time and on budget. It will bring many long-term benefits.”

Seventy-eight modern signals were installed as infrastructure was updated in the Stafford area. A new goods loop has also been built for freight trains and all platforms at Stafford can now accommodate trains in either direction.

The work is the second phase of the Stafford Area Improvements Programme, which is removing a major bottleneck on the West Coast main line at Norton Bridge, delivering the capability to run more freight and passenger train services.

The first phase of the Stafford Area Improvements Programme, completed ahead of schedule in March 2014, improved line-speeds between Norton Bridge and Crewe.

The latest phase to be completed, the re-signalling at Stafford, includes the construction of a new rail-over-rail flyover at Norton Bridge, which is set to be commissioned at Easter 2016.