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Dumfries & Galloway - NFUS Welcomes Local Helpline from Network Rail

NFU Scotland is working with Network Rail to encourage farmers who are grazing livestock along the Gretna to Motherwell West Coast Mainline to check the condition of rail side fencing and make use of a local helpline to report any problems. 

The importance of this message has been highlighted in recent weeks where several incidents of livestock getting on to the track have been reported.  While livestock on any line is a potential hazard this particular line has trains running at a high speed, meaning there is great concern that livestock on the line could be injured or cause a derailment. 

Farmers are being asked to check the condition of rail side fencing along the railway track before moving stock into adjacent fields.  A local Network Rail helpline has been established for farmers to report any fencing damage, or indeed any issue that may cause gaps in the fencing.

Carolyn Dunlop, Dumfries & Galloway Regional Manager, said:

“It is encouraging that Network Rail have put in place a phone number for farmers to use if they have fencing issues to report along the West Coast Rail Line from Motherwell to Gretna.  Farmers should leave a note of their name and contact number and Network Rail will carry out an inspection of the fencing within the week.

“Having livestock killed on a rail line is a situation that is very distressing and potentially very dangerous. I would advise farmers to refrain from putting livestock in fields next to the West Coast Line if the fencing is in poor condition and to contact Network Rail on 0141 335 6382 as a priority.”

Notes to Editors

  • Since 2nd June 2010 Network Rail have identified 4 potentially serious incidents along the Gretna to Motherwell Westcoast Mainline.
  • Farmers are encouraged to phone Network Rail on 0141 335 6382 if they:
     - plan to move livestock into a field bordering the railway. It is useful to identify where animals will be kept so inspections can be increased or fencing improved at these locations to protect both the railway and the livestock.
     - notice any areas of poor or inadequate fencing holding livestock.
     - are aware of any burrowing animals (rabbits etc) on embankments as these can lead to land slips
     - identify any invasive plants that may weaken the boundary so Network Rail can take appropriate action.

Ends

Contact Wendy Fleming on 0131 472 4020

Date Published:

News Article No.: 132/10


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