Construction of the new operating centre at Three Bridges has begun.
When completed in 2013 it will become the nerve centre of railway operations in Sussex. Local MP Henry Smith joined railway staff at the site. The rail operating centre at Three Bridges will be one of 14 centres nationally, built to replace more than 800 signal boxes currently used to control train movements across the network.
The new centres will have more advanced signalling tools and technology and will help reduce delays, improve performance and increase capacity. The new operating centre at Three Bridges is one of three major projects in the area.
As well as the new centre these include a new 11,200 square metre traction and maintenance depot for the new longer Thameslink trains and an array of station improvements at Three Bridges. New car and cycling facilities will also be built for staff.
Says Henry Smith MP, ‘Three Bridges is a significant transport interchange hub that serves local commuters and business alike. I’m delighted at Network Rail’s commitment to invest in upgrading this important Crawley gateway.’
Major construction of the rail operating centre, which is being carried on behalf of Network Rail by C Spencer Ltd, is expected to be completed by early 2013. Says Mark Ruddy, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, ‘The new operating centre and train depot will make Three Bridges one of the most important places on the railway in the south east.
‘As well as helping to create a better railway, the 900 plus jobs potentially being created in the area will also give a vital boost for local shops and amenities. The plans are also great news for passengers in Three Bridges who will get a better station and other improvements along the Brighton main line.
‘Thameslink will deliver longer, more modern trains, more seats and a wider choice of journey options and the operations centre will help us run a more punctual and reliable service.’