NETWORK Rail announced this week that the closure date for the Swindon Panel, the outgoing signalling system at Swindon train station, has been postponed.

It was originally due to be removed during the August bank holiday but has been postponed for either three months to Christmas 2014 or seven months to Easter 2015.

The panel was due to go on display in Didcot after the signalling system for the South West is centralised later this year, but that time-frame has now been extended.

Danny Scraggins, of the Swindon Panel Society, said: “While it is disappointing that we won’t gain possession of our panel asset as soon as we would have liked, this does actually work fairly favourably for the Society.

“The building at Didcot will be a lot further progressed, if not completed, by the time the panel closes. The extra time allows us further breathing space in fundraising for the move.

“It’s possible that it could even give us the time to raise enough to secure the ‘whole lift’ option, which would bring great benefit to the speed and ease of the move and the reinstatement.

“It would almost certainly be true to say that securing a ‘whole lift’ operation in December 2014 or Easter 2015 will see the panel working at Didcot earlier than if it was a ‘dismantle’ job in August 2014.”