Vertical bar fencing reduces fare-dodging and trespassing for South Western Railway

Project Overview

South Western Railway

South West UK

Date Complete



South Western Railway is one of the largest train operating companies working under the umbrella of Network Rail, servicing parts of the South West of the UK. It operates commuter services from its Central London terminal at London Waterloo, to South West London. Suburban services are provided in the counties of Surrey, Hampshire, and Dorset, with regional services provided in Devon, Somerset, Berkshire, and Wiltshire. Its long-distance trains run from London Waterloo to southern England, including major costal populated centres of Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth.

With many stations to service and upkeep, it is important that suitable fencing is specified, and many considerations needed to be taken into account for each location as they can vary widely. Not only do railways use fences to mark the boundary of their land, but they also serve as a deterrent to prevent trespass and vandalism. This is mostly between public footpaths, car parks, and as barriers for the platforms; preventing unwanted access is usually the first and foremost priority.

Unprotected tracks and platforms can cause other issues such as fare evasion, which costs an estimated £240 million per year, a cost which not only affects operators but other rail passengers and taxpayers, who ultimately subsidise the journeys of others, so minimising this cost is also a key priority.

With the many issues stations and train operators face, and the needs they cater for such as station, staff, and passenger safety, along with day-to-day operations of a railway, perimeter and security solutions can be difficult to specify. A one-size-fits-all approach is rarely the solution. Each location needed to be looked at separately and its individual needs met.

With thorough fence inspections being carried out annually by National Rail, the condition of fencing around stations, depots, and trackside is clearly important. High quality, long-lasting fencing is key to keeping the boundaries of the rail network throughout the network secure and to keep repair and replacement costs to a minimum, which is why Jacksons was specified for a number of South Western railway stations.


Over 380m of our Barbican Imperial® fencing was installed at multiple train stations across the South Western Railway network in heights of 1.8m and 2.5m depending on the needs of the location. Train stations included Aldershot, Branksome, Fratton, Godalming, Havant and Tolworth.

Barbican Imperial allows for good visibility which is vital for surveillance, and is commonly specified for both commercial and company premises with medium risk, making it an excellent choice for perimeters and safeguarding public buildings. Being anti-climb by design due to its pale spacing and its pales extending through the top rail, it fits the specific security and aesthetic requirements of railway stations. Due to its welded pale-through-rail construction and vandal proof panel to post connectors, pales and panels are protected from being removed, which is a common flaw with many railing or palisade style fences.

We also installed 12m of Barbican Defender® Xtreme, which is a step up in security from Imperial, alongside a cantilever sliding gate, which was installed at one of the stations around a disabled access area to the platform from the car park. With its cranked pales, Defender Xtreme fencing was installed to prevent climbing at key spots where accessible railings had to be provided on the station ramp, which could have been used as a climbing aid.

Double leaf vertical bar gates were specified and installed in more than one location, at Havant specifically for containing storage and waste bins for easy access to authorised personnel, and another to provide secure access to the main road. These gates are a perfect match to the vertical bar fencing and share all the design and security features of the Barbican range.

The primary use for the fencing was as a boundary solution along the various platforms, acting as both security fencing and a deterrent against trespassing. Our Rota Spike security topping was also added at some locations to increase the security level of the fencing and provide a further deterrent.

As with all our fencing and gates, the installations were provided with a 25-year guarantee against rust and corrosion.

As many companies and industries are becoming more aware and friendlier towards wildlife, SWR has partnered with the RSPB and taken steps to help wildlife in trouble, such as planting wildflowers, adding nest boxes and cutting holes in fences for ‘hedgehog highways’. With our vertical bar fencing installations, the pale spacing naturally allows for hedgehogs and other small mammals to pass under the fence to wildlife areas, so removing part of the fencing is not necessary. It’s encouraging to see an increasing number of architects and specifiers are considering wildlife when choosing fencing and not just as an afterthought.

We offer a variety of different solutions for the transport sector at varying levels of security, to read more about safety and security for transport infrastructure visit our transport applications page.

Products Used


  • Over 380m of 1.8m - 2.5m high Barbican Imperial® fencing
  • 12m of Barbican Defender® Xtreme fencing
  • 1x Barbican® cantilevered single sliding gate
  • 2x Barbican® double leaf vertical bar gates
  • Over 10m of Rota Spikes  
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