TransPennine Express has rising concerns after a rise in the number of trespass incidents on their network in recent months.
The concerns come as the fourth episode of The Railway 24/7 airs on Channel 5 this evening (1st July).
Last year, 550 children were caught on the tracks which resulted in the British Transport Police setting up a dedicated team to tackle this issue.
The episode shows driver Simon Powell being alerted to the news that trespassers have been seen on his route. He brings his train to a halt and runs down the track in pursuit of the trespassers, however, they vanish into the night.
TransPennine Express has voiced its concerns over the increase in trespassing incidents, especially over the last few months when children haven’t been in school due to the national COVID19 lockdown.
With the Summer holidays just weeks away, the rail operator is urging people to stay away from the tracks.
Liz Collins, Interim Managing Director at TransPennine Express, said: “According to new figures, one person every hour puts their life in danger by trespassing on the railway.
“The fact that trespassing is at a ten-year high and that almost half of those killed doing so have been under the age of 25 is an extremely shocking and upsetting statistic.”
“As a rail provider for the North, we’re doing all we can to help keep people safe and reduce trespassing across the network. We also appreciate the support of the British Transport Police who are working closely with us, patrolling trespassing hotspots and educating children about the potential dangers of trespassing.”
“We are urging parents and young people to take a reality check when it comes to trespassing. They are real tracks with real trains and real-life consequences.”
Adam Checkley, from Network Rail’s North West route, said: “Working with TPE and British Transport Police, we’ve been working hard to keep local communities safe along the trans-Pennine railway.
“We need everyone – adults and children – to stay off the railway and never use it as a short cut. Not only are you risking a large fine, you’re also risking your life and the lives of others.”
As well as trespassers, Simon also receives the news that they has been a fatality on his route, which reminds him of the two fatal accidents that he has been involved in as a train driver.
Liz Collins continues: “We do hope we get the message across about the dangers of trespassing and that viewers tune in to the fourth episode of The Railway 24/7.”
The fourth episode of The Railway 24/7 will be aired on Wednesday 1 July at 9pm on Channel 5.
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