The Churnet Valley Railway has announced new developments in reopening the line to Leek.
Following last year’s £1.4m grant from the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development, work has started to prepare contracts for the extension project.
A new partnership with Crewe-based Mosaic Rail will see the Signalling Design and support for the project.
Signalling Director of Mosaic Rail Ltd, Matt Wilton commented “We are delighted to be working on this project with the Churnet Valley Railway – this will give an opportunity to integrate modern technology and design systems into signalling systems used from the bygone days of the railway as part of a Heritage Railway operation” .
Mosaic Rail has offices in the UK and in Hyderabad, India and have projects in the UK, India and Australia.
The project centrepiece will be the Grade II signal box at Leek Brook Junction as well as the reinstatement of the triangle for the first time since 1935. This will make it the first fully signalled original triangle in preservation in the UK.
The signalbox was externally restored with Heritage Lottery Funding in 2014 and once operational, the signalbox will be the oldest operational first-gen McKenzie & Holland Signal Box in the UK.
Leek Brook was completed in 1872, though some records show it being as early as 1867.
Greg Wilson, Managing Director of the Churnet Valley Railway, has been spearheading the latest extension and is delighted with this new partnership. “Partnerships are the fundamentals of business none more so that in the Heritage Rail sector. This partnership ensures that we will have a signalling system with safety at its core, making use of our Heritage assets whilst also providing a valuable insight in to how previous generations signalled trains”.
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