Almost 200 signallers get in touch after appeal in Wales and Western region to help keep railways running

Network Rail’s Capital Delivery director for the Wales and Western region says he could never have imagined the volume of response received for signallers.

Almost 200 signallers answered the call in the region for professional signallers to help keep the railway running during the coronavirus crisis.

Stuart Calvert has praised the response, and in a statement has said: “When I sent out the email calling for signallers to come forward, to support us in keeping the railway running, I couldn’t have imagined the volume of responses we received.

“Almost 200 signallers have been in touch. From recent retirees, to those who have moved careers and signallers who work on heritage railways. So, thank you.

“I’m pleased to say that we have already started the process of onboarding and re-training the first candidates to support our efforts across Wales and Western.

“Please don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear from me, I am working through the responses and identifying the gaps that need filling to keep freight and key workers moving.

“In the meantime, take care. I look forward to working with you to keep Britain moving.”

It is one of several appeals made by Network Rail’s various regions, with similar appeals being made this week in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Signallers are crucial in the safe running of the railway. Whilst the railway is currently performing well, it is important to prepare for the next few weeks, and former signallers can provide cover if some members of the workforce need to self-isolate.

David Davidson, Network Rail’s head of operations for Anglia, said: “We’re working hard to get key workers to their jobs and to transport food and medical supplies around the country.

“Signallers are crucial to keep this going and we need former workers to help us provide back-up if some of our staff can’t come to work.

“We’re appealing for signallers who’ve retired, moved on to other careers or left the railway to come back and help us keep boxes and control centres open. Full re-training will be given.”

Any former professional signallers interested in helping in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk should email RetiredSignallersEasternRegion@networkrail.co.uk

Photo credit: Network Rail