Coronavirus: Network Rail launches plea for ex workers to keep railway lines running during lockdown

FORMER railway staff are being urged to retrain to keep lines running for key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 8:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 8:54 pm

The plea for more signallers comes from Network Rail in a bid to support the continuation of the supply chain and those having to undertake essential travel during lockdown.

The public body said it has already lost staff to self-isolation and sickness during the crisis, putting a stress on its workforce.

Controllers and local managers who are also qualified signallers are being delegated to signal boxes across Network Rail’s Wessex, Sussex and Kent routes.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Fratton Railway Station. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Network Rail’s managing director for the south, John Halsall, said: ‘This region carries half of all passengers in the country and Channel Tunnel rail freight and the pressure is on us to keep that going more than ever before.

‘I’m appealing for signallers who’ve retired, left the railway, or moved on to other jobs in Network Rail that they can take a break from, to come back and help us keep the south moving.

Read More

Read More
Rowans Hospice staff left 'shocked' after thugs steal all four wheels from chari...

‘Under normal circumstances we have enough signallers to keep trains running whatever happens, from flu to winter colds season, but these are not normal circumstances and without signallers to route trains there will be no way we can keep the whole network open.

‘So if you can help us, get in touch.’

A national lockdown was announced on Monday by prime minister Boris Johnson.

Rail travel is among the services being allowed to continue after Britain’s so-called ‘non-essential’ businesses were closed to slow the spread of coronavirus.