A team of Network Rail volunteers has helped install additional safety features to a level crossing on a heritage railway in Bedfordshire.
Normally based in Network Rail’s Milton Keynes office, the six volunteers instead spent the day fitting an anti-trespass guard at a level crossing on the Leighton Buzzard Railway.
This narrow-gauge (2 foot) railway, which runs from Page’s Park to Stonehenge Works, was originally built 100 years ago to transport sand from quarries in the area. Today, it offers passenger rides behind a range of heritage steam and diesel engines throughout the year.
One of the volunteers, capacity analysis project manager Andrew Robinson, said: “It was great to be able to get out of the office and spend some time working together in a different environment, whilst also giving some useful help to a local heritage organisation.
“It seemed particularly appropriate that we were able to improve their level crossing safety, given Network Rail’s ongoing focus on this area for the national network. We’re very grateful to the volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway for giving us this opportunity.”
Leighton Buzzard Railway’s Mike Bowley said: “Our regular volunteers were pleased to host and supervise our Network Rail visitors who were able to tackle a physical and meaningful task and complete it to a high standard. During the day such factors of levels, gauge, check rails, clearances, rail fastenings and track support were demonstrated to the visitors, all of which are relevant on the national network.”
As Andrew said, preventing trespass is one of Network Rails priorities on the ‘big’ railway. Latest figures show that, on average, there are more than 250 cases of trespass on the main line railway network every week.
To tackle this problem Network Rail and British Transport Police has launched its ‘You Vs. Train’ campaign for 2019.