Tuesday 12 Sep 2017
Volunteers offer rail help to community projects
Teams from Network Rail and Carillion Power Lines have taken time out from work to electrify the Shotts line to support local community projects.
Staff from both companies used ‘volunteer days’ to enable them to switch from their normal roles in project offices or on work sites and use their skills and experience to deliver work that benefits the community.
Getting Better Together (GBT) Community Garden in Shotts benefitted with weeding, pruning and planting and a general tidy up ahead of being judged for a Beautiful Scotland award, while a different team started sanding and painting at the recently acquired by the community Springhill Community Centre Hall in the town with work to be completed at a future volunteer day.
In West Calder, volunteers worked with the Community Development Trust on clearing overgrown vegetation, tree stumps and rubbish from public spaces on Cleuch Brae and repairing and repainting roadside fencing. The work is in preparation for the construction of a nature walkway and is in addition to the 7 tonnes of material donated to the Trust for the construction of the Harburn path.
Brian Mallon, Project Manager for Network Rail, said: “While we are working in communities for a prolonged period, it is important to build relationships and to give something back. Supporting community projects allows us to meet local people and to do something practical to improve facilities or public spaces.”
Paul Aitken, Quality Manager for Carillion Power Lines, said: “As well as lending a hand to community projects, volunteering enables our staff to work with colleagues they may not have worked with before and to have some fun working in a different way and in a different environment than they are normally used to.
“Staff have really enjoyed working on these projects and it is something we will be doing more of throughout the rest of the project.”
June Vallance, Executive Manager GBT Shotts, said: “While the community have been aware of the work to electrify the railway, it was great to meet some of the people delivering the work and to welcome them to our projects. We would like to thank the team of volunteers for their help and look forward to working with them again in the near future"
Matt Pearce, Manager of West Calder community Development Trust, said: “Network Rail and Carillion taking time to volunteer to support local community groups is nice to see and very welcome. It is good that big projects take the time to link with local people and it is great to see work getting done that benefits local groups and communities.
“Thank you to the volunteers for their efforts to progress the project at Cleuch Brae. With the Trust staff and the community, they formed a great team, got lots done and really made a difference to the work the Trust is doing in the area for the community.”
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.