THE final phase of long-running works to bring Cornwall’s railway signals into the 21st century is set to commence. 

It will mean disruption to services across Cornwall, as a scheme to overhaul life-expired Victorian-era semaphore signals are set to be replaced by a new multi-million pound digital signal system, fitted by Siemens. 

Between February 27 and March 3, no trains will run between St Austell and St Erth and Truro and Falmouth Docks. 

In the following week, much of the mainline across Cornwall will see no service, with no trains between Liskeard and St Erth from Monday, March 4 until Friday, March 8, on which days there will also be no service between Par and Newquay and Truro and Falmouth Docks. 

On the weekend of March 9 and March 10, there will be no service between Plymouth and St Erth, Liskeard and Looe, Par and Newquay and Truro and Falmouth Docks. Further disruption is expected on long-distance trains outside of Cornwall later in March. 

A spokesperson for Great Western Railway said: “In Cornwall Network Rail is carrying out a multi-million pound programme to improve the signalling. This work will see the replacement of older-style signals and signalling equipment with brand-new, modern technology. Once complete, this will help to improve train service reliability and reduce delays incurred by signalling issues. In order for this work to be done, the Cornish Main Line will be temporarily closed in phases between Tuesday 27 February and Sunday 10 March 2024 with buses replacing trains on affected routes.”

Network Rail sponsor Paul Collyer said, “This is the final chapter of our programme to bring a new system of signals to the region. There is never a good time to close the railway but we need to do this so our teams can work round the clock as safely and efficiently as possible. We’d like to thank our passengers for their patience and urge them to check before they travel.