DELAYS caused by signalling faults could eventually be a thing of the past on trains running to and from Crewe.

At a meeting on Friday Pete Waterman, chairman of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body (LTB), revealed that Network Rail, the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd have agreed that the town will become home to Britain’s first all-digital station.

It means that all trains running from Crewe to Warrington, Chester and other destinations across Cheshire would benefit from the same technology which will be used by HS2 services – meaning lines could run more efficiently with trains travelling in a tighter sequence.

Mr Waterman said: “That is the way that they are going to get better services north of Crewe – by taking out the signals and getting a modern system where trains can get closer, like planes do.

“Crewe is the only place where the two networks will actually meet on the ground level, and originally there was a thought that we would be using the two systems – a digital system and a semi-mechanical system.

“That is a massive decision, and I don’t think we should ever underestimate it. It would modernise this whole area because these trains will be different.”

Mr Waterman told members that the move had been agreed at a meeting about the proposed Crewe hub on Wednesday, April 4.

He insisted that it represents a ‘complete change of thinking’ between HS2 and Network Rail, with both sides cooperating to improve all services in Crewe.

The Department for Transport announced its support for a Crewe HS2 hub with seven trains an hour last month.