Friday 25 Jun 2021
Railway work made safer as human lookouts to no longer be used in Wales
- Region & Route:
- Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
Engineering work on the railway in Wales has been made safer with the end of human lookouts which are used to warn the workforce of approaching trains
The final step to eliminate this method of working was taken by Network Rail on Friday 18 June which means human lookouts, who used horns and flags to warn engineers of approaching trains, will no longer be used across its Wales and Borders route for work activity.
Wales Route teams have been transitioning to new working arrangements over the last 18 months to carry out work at times when trains can be stopped from running, which provides additional protection for our staff.
Additional warning technology is also being developed to safely facilitate work that may need to take place while trains are running. Until this is fully rolled out, Network Rail's Wales & Borders route has committed to not having engineers working on open lines.
Bill Kelly, Wales & Border route director at Network Rail said:
“This is a landmark moment for the rail industry in Wales & Borders and a huge step to improving the safety of our frontline teams.
“Safety is our number one priority at Network Rail and we are constantly re-evaluating our ways of working, looking at ways to eliminate outdated practices and making the necessary changes to keep our staff safe at work.
“This is a continuous process that will long continue into the future.”
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.