How we maintain our fencing

We use fences to mark the boundary of our land. They also serve as a deterrent to prevent trespass and vandalism. Part of a structure, buildings – and occasionally natural screens of thorny shrubs – can also act as railway boundaries.

We check the fences on a regular basis, typically annually. The type of fence we provide depends on the use of the land adjacent to it. We will identify the use of the adjacent land from these inspections.

Animals next to the railway

The fencing we use across the network depends on the adjacent land use and level of risk. Some of it may not be suitable for keeping small animals off the railway. Dog owners should always take extra care when near the railway.

If you have livestock, such as cows and horses, please tell us if you feel the fence is not suitable for keeping them off the railway.

Please let us know if you are planning to introduce these animals next to railway land. We’ll investigate any fencing to check its suitability. We may need to replace or repair parts of it to make sure it is suitable. This can take some time to organise so please give us as much warning as possible.

Fences between your property and the railway

We’re responsible for the fencing that forms the boundary to the railway. If there’s a problem with our fencing we will either fix the fence or replace it. This doesn’t apply to other fences that may be parallel to our boundary measure. 

Please don’t attach anything to our fencing, including another fence, as it may be damaged if we need to repair or replace it.

What to do if there’s a problem

If our fencing is showing signs of age and fatigue, let us know and we’ll investigate and assess it. If there’s a gap and we can’t immediately carry out a permanent repair, then we’ll do a temporary repair first of all.

If we can’t repair the fence to a safe standard, and a fence is needed to keep the railway safe, we’ll replace it with a new one of a similar size and type. Occasionally we’ll replace it with a higher specification, particularly if trespassing, vandalism or fly-tipping are common in the area. Similarly, we may replace it with a lower specification if it’s safe to do so.

Sometimes we need to remove plants and trees so we can maintain our fences. We work with conservation and environmental experts so we don’t harm native wildlife while we do this.

In some areas it’s not safe to replace fencing when trains are running, so we may have to carry out the repairs at night or as part of the next scheduled track maintenance.

If you need to know more or have a problem with any of our fences, please get in touch.

Find out more

Our work near you

More information for lineside neighbours