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Rail bosses appeal for ex-signallers to return to network

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Rail industry bosses have today appealed for former signalling staff to return to East Anglia's tracks and help keep trains moving during the coronavirus crisis.

Many train operators are running revised schedules because of reduced demand during the current restrictions on movement.

But Network Rail, the body responsible for maintaining the tracks and signalling infrastructure, says it needs retired signallers, or former signallers who are now working in other fields, to come forward in case staff currently working on lines in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Suffolk need to self-isolate over the coming weeks.

Can you help to keep the trains running?
Can you help to keep the trains running?

David Davidson, Network Rail's head of operations for the Anglia region, said the region's network is currently performing well, but they need to be prepared in case staff health worsens.

He 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.”

The move follows pleas in recent weeks for former NHS staff and retired Metropolitan Police officers to return to work.

Any former professional signallers interested in helping should email: RetiredSignallersEasternRegion@networkrail.co.uk