That rail fence in Sydney Gardens.

I’ve got an update from Network Rail regarding their plans for installing a proper safety barrier beside the rail line to London as it runs through Sydney Gardens.

Brunel designed a low stone wall so people could watch the steam-driven transport-wonders-of- the-Victorian-age puff by, but modern locomotives – and their long line of carriages – are considered much more lethal when it comes to low barrier viewing.

The stonework is listed, but the idea is to put an additional fence on top of it. However, as l understand it, the initial design was considered too heavy for the stone wall to bear the weight.

So now it’s proposed to underpin the original wall but when – l asked – was this all going to happen?

Here’s the statement l received from a Network Rail spokesperson: ‘The foundation strengthening design is in the final review stage with the project engineer.

Once approved it will be ready for Listed Building Consent process via Town Planning which is expected to take between 12-22 weeks.

Once Listed Building Consent is issued the contractor will be able to carry out the fencing/railing installation.’

So now we know.