Appeal for retired rail signallers to help keep trains running
PUBLISHED: 12:21 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:28 31 March 2020
An appeal has been made for retired signallers to return to work to help keep the region’s trains moving during the coronavirus pandemic.
Network Rail has made the plea because of concerns that staff sickness during the pandemic could leave them short of operators to keep signal boxes and control centres going.
It says signallers are crucial in the safe running of the railway, which is vital to help key workers, such as doctors and nurses, to travel to work.
Railways are also being used to get essential food and medical supplies transported across the country on freight services.
So, in a similar vein to how the NHS has recruited former doctors and nurses to help with the fight against coronavirus, Network Rail is appealing for retired signallers, or those who have moved to other careers in the railway industry, for roles at signal boxes across Norfolk and Suffolk regions.
It says, while 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 signal boxes and control centres open. Full re-training will be given.”
Any former professional signallers interested in helping to keep trains moving should email: RetiredSignallersEasternRegion@networkrail.co.uk
Greater Anglia, which runs the bulk of the rail services in Norfolk is currently providing an emergency rail service as part of the national effort to deal with the current public health crisis.
The train operator is running a reduced service for essential journeys, for key workers such as NHS staff, emergency workers and carers.
The government has made it clear that public transport is for essential use only, so that key workers and railway staff can practise social distancing and be safe on their journeys.
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