Automatic half barrier crossings at Waterbeach, Dullingham and Six Mile Bottom are to be upgraded to manually controlled barriers.

And six signal boxes at Chippenham, Dullingham and Bury St Edmunds are to be decommissioned.

Network Rail will also upgrade to manual barriers the crossings at Croxton, Dimmocks Cote (Stretham) and Milton Fen.

Meldreth Road crossing in Shepreth will be upgraded to manual control with CCTV.

Network Rail will apply in the spring to compulsory purchase land adjacent to the seven level crossings it proposes to upgrade.

The proposals form part of a £194m investment into the rail network in the Cambridge area.

The Cambridge re-signalling project is part of “modern, state-of-the-art signalling technology which means better reliability for passengers and reduced maintenance”

Network Rail has awarded a £130m contract to Alstom to deliver much of the work under a five-year agreement.

"As part of the project, Alstom will deliver the complete renewal of the signalling system for the Cambridge area to replace the existing equipment which was installed in the early 1980s,” says a spokesperson for Network Rail.

“The contract includes the replacement of almost 700 items of life expired signalling equipment with a modern signalling system.”

This signalling renewal project covers 125 miles of track, stretching from Meldreth and Elsenham to the south, through central Cambridge, up to Ely and Thurston to the east.

The project will equip Network Rail to better serve the proposed new Cambridge South station as well as the potential to integrate with East West Rail.

Design work has commenced, with the work on the ground expected to be delivered during four key commissioning stages to minimise disruption of the operational railway.

The final commissioning of the new signalling system is scheduled for winter 2024.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: “Signalling systems are crucial to operate a safe and efficient railway for passengers, freight and everyone that uses or interacts with the railway.

“This project will provide a signalling system fit for a modern 21st century railway in the Cambridge area.”

Jason Baldock of Alstom said the project “will deliver significant benefits to rail users in Cambridge and across the Anglia region”.

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