Network Rail came to Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes to give the Residents a very interesting talk about Polegate railway station and the risks associated with the level crossing.
Tracey Partridge and Andrew McKinnon told the Residents about the history of the railway station in Polegate and the various aspects of Network Rail which owns and operates the railway infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland. This was followed by a presentation and discussion on the health and safety issues surrounding the station and the level crossing.
Tracey, who visits the Polegate Station every three months to assess the health and safety aspects, told the Residents that they had made several improvements to the station and the crossing, including:
Implementing anti slip treatments & reducing trip hazards
Introducing 4 audible alarms (which are louder than the 2 previous ones) for pedestrians when the gates are coming down
Introducing a red flashing signal and sensors to direct pedestrians who find themselves on the wrong side of the barrier
Introducing scanners to find “lost” pedestrians so barriers can be opened in an emergency
Adding extra time to allow people time to cross
Andrew told Residents of BBCH there are currently 700 projects going on in Sussex and Kent alone. The railway maintenance teams work through the night to get the work done with minimal disruption to commuters.
The infamous phrase ‘ the wrong kind of leaves ‘ causing delays , popped up. It turns out to be true! When wet leaves hit the tracks, they stick like glue and the wheels lose their grip. Trains have been known to slide with their brakes on for 10 miles on wet leaves and going up hill they cannot get the traction they need. Track teams work around the clock in autumn using specialist machines to clean the rails and before the autumn, train drivers receive refresher training using simulators to help them improve the skills they will need to deal with slippery rails.
The Residents found the talk really interesting and were pleased to be able have their concerns answered from the very people who run our railway networks.