Railway safety and crime


Police and engineer partnership to cut delays

An emergency police vehicle being used across south and west London is helping to reduce disruption to passengers. Emergency Intervention Units (EIU) help get railway engineers to incidents on the railway faster, by using blue lights and sirens.

The EIUs are commissioned and funded by Network Rail and the South West Trains (SWT) Alliance and run in partnership with British Transport Police (BTP).

(Above image, courtesy BTP, shows an Emergency Unit used in partnership with TfL.)

The vehicles have been modified to carry essential repair equipment and have police branding to allow a quicker response time. The project has been running for a month, and incidents include trespass and reopening the railway after a person fell on the track.

The EIUs are based at London Waterloo station and cover the Wessex route as far as Epsom, Chessington South, Oxshott, Weybridge, Shepperton and Feltham.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of the Alliance, said: “This unique vehicle reduces the amount of time it takes to get to incidents on the railway which subsequently reduces the length of delays to trains and ultimately to our passengers.

“It covers one of the busiest sections of railway in the country which, when something goes wrong, has a knock on effect across the south and south west of England. The vehicle allows BTP officers and railway engineers to travel to an incident in the same way that other police vehicles can to an emergency, which enables us to clear incidents and carry out repairs more quickly.”

Superintendent Jason Bunyard, from BTP’s London South area, said: “Passenger safety will be improved by using the new vehicle to get engineers and equipment to the scene of incidents and to get trains moving again as quickly as possible.

“Because we understand the frustration caused to passengers who are held up by incidents on the railway, our aim is to get an officer there as soon as possible in order to get stuck trains moving again quickly.

“By getting the line moving sooner, there will also be fewer crowd safety issues in and around stations.

“Once at the scene, the officer driving the EIU vehicle will perform regular policing duties and work alongside colleagues to resolve any crime or safety issues and help get the network moving.”

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