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Union Raises Rail Safety Concerns Over Brexit

3 April 2019

TSSA is seeking a meeting with Eurostar to discuss rail safety measures amidst escalating Brexit tensions which has seen the rail land bridge into Europe become a target of protest in recent days.

General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, is calling for extra vigilance after a man was charged over a rooftop protest at St Pancras station in central London, which cancelled Eurostar services at the weekend.

It has since emerged British Transport Police are investigating how circuit-tripping devices became attached to a rail tracks in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire and Netherfield, Nottingham last month.

Police say they were deliberately designed to “sabotage" Britain’s rail network it suggests may be linked to Brexit. The devices were aimed at fooling signal workers that a train was stationary on the track when there wasn’t one, causing havoc to the network and triggering delays.

According to TSSA sources, it is thought the device with a ‘Leave means Leave’ message attached to it was intended as an April Fool prank. The device interrupts the track circuits, causing signals to go red. It would have caused disruption, but not disaster.

Rail union chief, Cortes, said: "Whether a prank or not, we are very concerned at reports pro-Brexit supporters have accessed our rail infrastructure with the aim of causing delays and chaos.

"All station staff, especially at Eurostar and British Transport Police need to be extra vigilant and bring to justice those responsible for these acts, which are frankly an act of sabotage that could easily escalate to act of terrorism should the rail network become damaged or staff or passengers harmed.

"Getting onto our rail tracks is both extremely dangerous and an offence. I appeal to those involved in these acts to desist from doing this before someone suffers a serious injury or a fatality.

“There are many other legitimate ways to protest over Brexit or any other issue."

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