Railway safety and crime

07.10.19

Community invited to Helpston signal box to get insider view of level crossing safety

More than 200 residents were given an exclusive insight into the workings of Helpston signal box at a level crossing north of Peterborough.

A number of public open days ran by signallers last month (16th-21st September) gave people the opportunity to get behind-the-scenes access, in a bid to promote level crossing safety.

239 people from the community attended interactive sessions at the Helpston signal box site, the widest level crossing in the country.

The site is home to six tracks and a line speed of 125mph on the East Coast Main Line.

The idea was to demonstrate how signallers carry out the safe running of trains and their passengers while keeping the general public at a safe distance when trains are coming through level crossings.

The exclusive demonstration meant that the public could meet with Network Rail signallers who explained certain curiosities related to the crossings.

For example, why they sometimes have to wait longer than planned before crossing, how dangerous the misuse of crossings can be and how it can ultimately lead to longer delays for travellers and freight trains.

Martin Fuller, Signaller for Network Rail, said:

 “We decided to run the public events so the community could find out more about what we do, and how we ensure the level crossing and the railway operates safely.

“Safety is Network Rail’s priority and it is important people do their bit by following the rules at a level crossing. Misusing one could be dangerous, and lead to additional delays for trains, as well as other vehicles or pedestrians crossing it.

“239 people got involved in the interactive sessions and we have had a lot of positive feedback.”

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