Volunteers from Network Rail have helped install modern safety features to a level crossing at a heritage railway in Bedfordshire.

A team of six staff usually based in Network Rail’s Milton Keynes office spent the day fitting an anti-trespass guard at a level crossing on the Leighton Buzzard Railway.

The 100-year-old line is a preserved narrow-gauge (2 foot) railway running from Page’s Park to Stonehenge Works and was originally built to transport sand from quarries in the area.

Now the line offers passenger rides behind a range of heritage steam and diesel engines throughout the year.

Andrew Robinson, a capacity analysis project manager at Network Rail, said: “It was great to be able to get out of the office and spend some time working together in a different environment, whilst also giving some useful help to a local heritage organisation.

“It seemed particularly appropriate that we were able to improve their level crossing safety, given Network Rail’s ongoing focus on this area for the national network. We’re very grateful to the volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway for giving us this opportunity.”

Mike Bowley, from Leighton Buzzard Railway, said: “Our regular volunteers were pleased to host and supervise our Network Rail visitors who were able to tackle a physical and meaningful task and complete it to a high standard. During the day such factors of levels, gauge, check rails, clearances, rail fastenings and track support were demonstrated to the visitors, all of which are relevant on the national network. The Leighton Buzzard Railway was pleased to host the volunteers from Network Rail.”

Latest figures show that on average there are more than 250 cases of trespass on the main line railway network every week.

To tackle this problem Network Rail and British Transport Police has launched its ‘You Vs. Train’ campaign for 2019.

The summer-long partnership with the English Football League and charity StreetGames will use sport to reach under-18s to get the message across just how dangerous the railway can be.

For more information on railway safety go to www.YouVsTrain.co.uk.

Notes to editors

The six volunteers from Network Rail were:

  • Andrew Robinson (capacity analysis project manager)
  • Emma Walker (senior network analyst)
  • Luke Little (network analyst)
  • Mike Gregory (network analyst)
  • Paul Farmer (network analyst)
  • Fred Noble (network analyst)