Siemens Mobility has completed the commissioning of the UK’s Hither Green Area Resignalling Project, which will help provide a better passenger service.

The new system is expected to offer improved reliability and journeys via Hither Green, as well as into Lewisham, Central London and Kent.

This project is a part of the £250m Network Rail programme to advance signalling and track reliability via the Lewisham area in South-East London.

This is said to be the first major commissioning work carried out amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The signalling solution started operations on 2 August, following a nine-day blockade, and covers the rail line from Hither Green to Grove Park, Sidcup and Bromley North.

The route is now controlled from Network Rail’s Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (TBROC).

With this scheme, 12-car trains will be able to stop at Grove Park platform three. It will also permit turnback opportunities to be formed at Hither Green, Grove Park and Lee.

This will allow trains to turn back during delays or engineering works, which is expected to increase reliability and performance.

The main part of the scheme is the Trackguard Westlock Computer-Based Interlocking and Westrace Trackside System of Siemens Mobility, which replaces the remote relay interlocking at Bromley North and interfaced solid-state interlocking at Hither Green.

As a part of the two-year programme and 21 stages, the company has installed 58 signals while the current track circuits are replaced by 254-axle counter heads which are expected to offer better train detection.

In a separate development, the IRICAV 2 consortium has won a €2.5bn contract to commence the work on the initial section of the Verona-Padua high-speed railway.

The rail line will be commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI).

The 44.2km-long section entails a €2.7bn investment by RFI and is expected to complete in 2027.