BRADFORD Interchange railway station will be closed for a whole weekend to enable a changeover of signalling as part of the Great North Rail Project.

Buses will replace trains on services between the station and Leeds, Huddersfield, Halifax and Accrington on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21, and Monday, October 22.

The work will see the demise of the Mill Lane signal box with signalling duties switched to the state-of-the-art Rail Operating Centre in York.

Passengers are warned to leave more time for their journeys and to check services before they set off.

The project is perhaps the most significant overhaul of Bradford’s railway signalling system since 1973, when the current station opened to replace Bradford Exchange.

Network Rail says the upgrades are expected to result in more modern, cost-effective and reliable services, but the work will also bring short-term disruption to rail passengers in West Yorkshire.

In May, work was completed to install two new “points”, to the south of Bradford Interchange. This allows services approaching from the south to cross over onto lines (and ultimately platforms) previously only available to services approaching from the east and vice versa.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “The signalling system in this part of West Yorkshire is approaching the end of its operational life and this investment will increase reliability, thereby reducing delays, while cutting the cost of running the railway for the taxpayer.”

Network Rail and Northern are also carrying out platform extensions at Bradford Interchange to accommodate for newer and longer trains which will call at the station.

Residents are invited to find out more about improvements at a public drop-in session on Wednesday from 4.30 to 6.30 at The Travel Centre in Bradford Interchange.

Anyone who cannot make the event but wants to learn more can call the Network Rail National Helpline on 03457 114141.

As part of the rail network overhaul in West Yorkshire Northern has given customers a glimpse into the future with the launch of its first fully refurbished train, now out on the network.

The delivery of 243 refurbished trains is part of a multi-million pound investment programme to enhance customer journeys with new trains, more services, more seats, better stations and faster journeys.

The Class 158 train gives Northern customers a brighter and more comfortable journey with new seating and more leg room – and provides them with digital improvements including USB charging sockets at every seat and free Wi-Fi throughout. In the near future, these trains will also feature customer information screens and digital seat reservations.

Last week, the first of 98 new trains began test runs on Northern routes and is scheduled for passenger service by the end of the year. The Class 195s will replace Class 156 units, the main unit types operated on Northern’s express routes.