Rail pastors set to return to Fife's trains and rail stations

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Rail Pastors, a scheme which aims to keep vulnerable people safe and save lives on Scotland’s railway has been relaunched.

In a bid to help those in need, the rail pastors will again patrol platforms and trains in Fife from June 29 after an absence of nearly 3 years.

The initiative is run by the Ascension Trust (Scotland), the British Transport Police, the Samaritans and Scotland’s Railway, and is made up of trained volunteers from local churches.

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Since 2014, volunteer pastors have been patrolling sections of the railway in the UK looking for anyone who is vulnerable, distressed or in need of some assistance.

The familiar Rail Pastors are returning to Fife's trains and rail stationsThe familiar Rail Pastors are returning to Fife's trains and rail stations
The familiar Rail Pastors are returning to Fife's trains and rail stations

They assist people who aren’t confident travelling alone, require first aid or who are suffering from more serious problems such as poor mental health. They can identify and support those who require further assistance to get home or to a place of safety.

The team of 18 volunteers will travel on trains and visit stations on ScotRail services both during the day and at night ready to help anyone in need.

Chris Jewell, Chief Executive of Ascension Trust (Scotland) said: “Ascension Trust Scotland enables and encourages street, rail, school and response pastors throughout Scotland, we are delighted to be going back out on the trains and being of help with a listening and caring ear.

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"We know that travellers on the trains feel safer when we are out in our uniforms and we look forward to our trained volunteers being of service once again while we expand what we do with the help of our partners Network Rail, Scotrail and British Transport Police.”

Allan Brooking, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail said “We continually strive to make our rail network a safe place for all our passengers and we’re incredibly pleased to welcome rail pastors back to the railway. We’re extremely grateful to them for volunteering their time to care for others.”

Ros Houldsworth, ScotRail Liaison, said: “It’s great to see the return of the Rail Pastors to Scotland’s Railway. “These volunteers provide an additional reassuring presence at our stations and on our trains.”