New warning system improves safety at level crossings in Cambridgeshire: Covtec installed at Block Farm level crossing 2

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017

New warning system improves safety at level crossings in Cambridgeshire


A new audible warning system, alerting pedestrians and cyclists of approaching trains has made three footpath level crossings in Cambridgeshire safer.  Network Rail began rolling out the system at 18 level crossings across the Anglia region at the beginning of the year, making the railway safer and more reliable as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.

The system has been installed at footpath level crossings where the user is required to stop, look and listen for a train before crossing. When a person arrives at the crossing and a train is approaching, the system reproduces the sound of a train horn. This is an additional warning to complement the real train horn on its approach.

The new system has been installed at the following level crossings in the Cambridgeshire region:

  • Soham station, Cambridgeshire
  • Clayway, Littleport
  • Block Farm, Fordham, Ely

The following video shows how the system works. The first horn after 12 seconds, is the warning system, followed by the faint horn of the train approximately 2 seconds after. 


By improving safety at these crossings with this additional measure, temporary speed restrictions can be lifted, reducing delays for passengers across the rail network.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This new system will improve safety at these crossings where the user needs to stop, look and listen for a train before deciding to cross.  This extra warning also means that we can safely remove speed restrictions at these crossings, making the railway more reliable as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”

Notes to Editors

The new system has also been installed at the following level crossings in the Anglia region:

  • Dixies, Newport
  • Henham, Newport
  • Islands, near Church Road, Bentley
  • Spring Lane, off Boundary Road, Wivenhoe
  • Pagets level crossing, Paget Road, Wivenhoe
  • Spikes Lane, Stowmarket
  • Wisset, Halesworth
  • Rose Farm, Attleborough
  • Sadlers, Harlow
  • Tednambury, Sawbridgeworth
  • White House, Gissing, Diss
  • Giles, Clacton on Sea
  • Strumpshaw, Norwich
  • Pannington Hall, Wherstead, Ipswich

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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