Connecting you to what's important

Staying safe on the railway: Drones

27 July 2018

DID you know it is illegal to fly a drone on or near the railway network?

The growing popularity and affordability of drones has seen more people than ever using them to get great photographs or video.

However even the smallest unmanned aircraft can cause a huge safety risk on the railway if it collided with a train, hit overhead power lines or distracted train crew or track workers.

Following an incident in north Wales earlier this year when a drone was flown close to a train, Arriva Trains Wales, Network Rail and British Transport Police are reminding people to respect the rules and stay safe.

  • It is a criminal offence to fly a drone on, over or within 50 metres of the railway; that's the length of an Olympic size swimming pool. You must also not fly them within 150 metres of a built up area.
  • Those who do break the law could end up in court facing a penalty of up to £2,500.

Acting Operations Director for Arriva Trains Wales, Martyn Brennan said: “We know there is fantastic technology available to the public in the form of unmanned aircraft or drones, which can get brilliant video footage and pictures. "However on the railway safety is always the first priority and as such there are very clear laws surrounding the use of drones on or near the rail network. It is a criminal offence to fly a drone on, over or within 50 metres of the railway or within 150 metres in built up areas.

"It is essential that anyone interested in using drones should comply fully with the rules laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority as flying one too close to the railway could result in a serious accident.

"We will be working closely with our partners in Network Rail and the British Transport Police to get these messages out there and take any action where appropriate.”

So even if you're an enthusiast wanting to get a great shot of the railway in action, it's vital to remember to stick to the rules as safety comes first.


Contact information

James Nicholas

Communications Manager

Arriva Trains Wales