Ben Lui Rail Crossing - Evidence Needed

The MCofS is working with Argyll and Bute Council and British Transport Police to try to resolve a tracky situation (sorry) in Glen Lochy, where hillwalkers accessing Ben Lui have to cross a railway line. If you've been there then maybe you can help?

The northwest flank of Ben Lui - hard to access without playing chicken with trains, 99 kb
The northwest flank of Ben Lui - hard to access without playing chicken with trains
© Dan Bailey

The Tyndrum-Oban railway runs between the Forestry Commission car park in Glen Lochy (NN239278) and the popular northwestern access route to Ben Lui (Beinn Laoigh) and Beinn a'Chleibh.

Last year a group of MCofS members were stopped by British Transport Police and warned that, in their view, it is a criminal offence to "trespass" on the railway. Whether or not it's illegal is currently something of a moot point (see UKH news here for instance), but walking across a railway does have obvious safety implications. Recently a train was forced to make an emergency stop here, as there were seven walkers on the line.

The Eas Daimh runs through a culvert under the railway, and though this can be used as an alternative crossing point the MCofS point out that there is restricted head room and it can be slippery underfoot.

According to the MCofS, the ideal solution would be for an official pedestrian level crossing to be installed here - a suggestion supported by British Transport Police - but for that to happen they need to show Network Rail that the difficulty has existed for a number of years, and involves an increasing number of walkers.

To help make their case the MCofS are currently collecting evidence from people who've had experience crossing the line in this location. Helping out is as simple as completing a quick form - available here. In case you're worried about the legal implications of admitting to trespass, they're not asking for full names or addresses.

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