Repairs to Barns Green level crossing following Saturday’s tragic incident will mean the crossing remains closed for approximately two to three weeks, with diversions in place for vehicles.
The crossing on Emms Lane has automatic half-barriers and warning lights which are triggered by approaching trains. Both the crossing itself and the electrical equipment building which houses the crossing’s controls were severely damaged as a result of the incident.
Network Rail is working closely with the highways authority, West Sussex County Council, to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum while the crossing is out of use and a signed diversionary route is already in place for vehicles.
John Halsall, Network Rail’s South East route managing director, said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives.
“I know families, friends and our neighbours will want to know how this happened, and why, as soon as possible and we are working closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to understand that.”
Mr Halsall continued: “We know how important this crossing is to local people and we’ll be working hard to get it open again once all the repairs are complete.”
Thanks to local residents
Network Rail would also like to thank the many local residents, the community and passengers on the train involved, for their understanding, compassion and assistance during and after this terrible incident.
Chandris Webb, Network Rail mobile incident officer, was at the scene on Saturday: “We’re all incredibly grateful to everyone who went out of their way to help us on Saturday. This was so appreciated by everyone from Network Rail and the emergency services who attended this difficult incident.
“People brought us cups of tea and biscuits and provided welfare facilities. I know it might seem like a small thing, but it really made a difference on what was a very tough day for everyone involved.”