Fencing to restrict access to rail locations.  This can include fencing that runs along the track side and fencing around railway property, such as depots.

A physical restriction to Influence access to the track. 

Location - Running line, depots.

By whom? - Infrastructure owner.

Applicability / suitability for trespass types

Where there is a problem of access from a location (e.g. near equipment) or could be fitted routinely as parts of upgrades to a location or along a part of a rail route. It will be necessary consider of there are any issues with heritage and landowners permission, impacts on sight lines of neighbours, suitability of the land suitable for a fence and the characteristics of the fence (height, security levels, lengths and ability to fully secure a location).  

Trespasser type =All.

Trespass events = Convenience, anti-social behaviour, graffiti, hangout, recreation, theft.

Observed behaviours = Crossing the track, damage to equipment / facilities, evidence of graffiti, playing with equipment.

Potential Motivations = Various, but people are likely to be seeking to use the location as an easy means of access to get to railway property. 


High effectiveness

Studies suggest that physical barriers are a very effective intervention.  In one study, fencing (1 metre high and stretched for 100 metres either side of the path used to trespass) reduced trespass by almost 95%. Acts as a barrier and symbolic barrier that will make access harder and minimise trespass for many trespass types.

If there is any effect, this should be immediate on certain trespass types.

Any effect should be maintained over time for these groups, though those determined to access could find other ways around the fencing.

Factors influencing effectiveness

Depends on the type of trespass (i.e. likely to work for people taking a short cut but might not with some of those with greater determination for access (e.g. theft).

Quality of the design and fitting of the fencing.

Can act as a symbolic barrier in some locations, making access harder rather than a failsafe security barrier.

How to apply or implement, including dependencies

Needs careful design of the intervention, so that it provides a useful barrier and visual deterrent, especially near higher risk locations (known crossing points, near equipment or other attractors for trespass).

Can offer different levels of security, dependent on height, strength / resistance to cutting, and design (profile, coatings and other characteristics to resist climbing).

Can be used in conjunction with other interventions, especially at higher risk areas, e.g. sensors and alarms or security lighting, CCTV, appropriate surveillance and response processes, signage.

Needs regular checks and maintenance – damage can be hard to spot along lengthy sections of perimeter fence.  

Need to consider environmental concerns (e.g. restricting movements of some animal species).

Need to consider unanticipated risks (e.g. restricting access or escape in some locations).



Design, material and fitting costs.  Can be very high (e.g. £400-450 per metre).

Will likely be needed along a sufficient length of the track or around the perimeter of a site, or people may change to an alternative access point.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Senior Safety Intelligence Analyst for further information.
Siona Vass
Tel: 020 3142 5485
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