Over 15,000 metres of new fencing and gates have been installed at nearly 300 stations across Kent, Sussex and south London as part of a £2.3 million project to stop people trespassing on the railway.

The safety drive will reinforce fence-lines in key areas to protect people from intruding on the tracks and prevent disruption for passengers.

Network Rail south east’s anti-trespass project forms part of a £300m government-funded package to boost the resilience of the infrastructure on the Southern and Thameslink railway networks.

John Halsall, Southern region managing director, said: “This work is absolutely critical, not just for the people risking their lives by walking on the railway, but also for passengers because of the obvious disruption that trespassing creates.

“This year, we’ve seen a record number of young people killed or injured on the tracks across the country.

“Here in the south east, if the 750-volt electrified rail doesn’t kill you instantly, a 125-mph train will, so these works will help keep people off the railway, saving lives and delays for passengers.”

The project includes £1m for barriers at the end of platforms at almost 300 stations, £500,000 for fence-line improvements in the East Croydon and Brighton areas, and another £800,000 for anti-trespass measures at eight hotspot areas. The work is scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2020.