Timely warning issued of dangers of trespassing on the railway

Roger Smith - Contributor 5 comments 4 Min Read
Railway trespass at Dilton MarshCredit: Network Rail

With children now home from school for the Easter holidays, and have issued a timely warning about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.

Last April, the number of people recorded as trespassing on the railway network increased by 25%, and there was a staggering 40% increase in incidents involving children.

Lelant trespass - Nov_web
Trespassing on the railway at Lelant. // Credit: Network Rail

The importance of rail safety is being reinforced by Network Rail and British Transport with a new slogan that asks the public to be BST this BST – Be Safe around the Tracks this British Summer Time.

Trespassing can result in devastating consequences that affect us all

Louise McNally, trespass prevention lead at Network Rail

There are around 19,000 incidents of trespassing recorded each year. That equates to almost one for every mile of track in the country and shows that trespass poses a huge problem across the railway network.

Trespassers at Kirby Cross station. // Credit: Network Rail

Trespassing begins to become a problem from March and April onwards, coinciding with the Easter holidays and the start of British Summer Time.

Nearly two-thirds of all trespass incidents take place during the six months between April and October.

In an effort to reduce the number of incidents, Network Rail and British Transport Police run a campaign that is designed to show the public the dangers that are present around the railway.

By presenting the public with startling facts, the campaign will hopefully deter them from trespassing and keep them safe. Among the key rail facts that the campaign explains are:

  • Trains can travel at up to 125 mph.
  • If a train brakes, it can take the length of 20 football pitches for it to come to a complete stop.
  • Electricity used to power the railway is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Electricity in overhead cables is 25,000 volts.
  • Electricity in the third rail is 750 volts,
  • It can still be lethal even if overhead lines or third rails are not touched, as electricity can jump and arc across gaps.
People trespassing on Sleights railway bridge. // Credit: Network Rail

The You vs Train campaign and key facts about railway safety can be found at www.youvstrain.co.uk.

The Switched On website also has materials suitable for teaching younger children about the importance of staying safe around the railway and is available by clicking here.

Last month, a dog walker was recorded on CCTV ignoring the red lights and barriers at a Worcestershire .

These are shocking figures. Longer days and warmer weather should not be an excuse for people to behave irresponsibly around the railway when it can be a dangerous place if not used correctly.

Trespassing can result in devastating consequences that affect us all – from life-changing injuries for individuals and their families, through to delays to passenger journeys.

No one wants to see anyone come to harm. We urge people to ensure that they and their loved ones know how to use the railway safely so that we can all enjoy the joys of rail travel this British Summertime.

Louise McNally, trespass prevention lead at Network Rail

Share This Article
  • Alway’s been a problem way back in the 1950s and 60s when I was a Signalman on the Main line
    The March of time and elimination of most of the Manuel Signal boxes as made the situation much worse .
    It means there is no human presence on the Main line for hundreds of miles so a lot of incidents go unnoticed .
    Including the theft of miles of valuable signalling cable.
    In the past these incidents were noticed by the Signalman and reported to the Railway police and usually dealt with promptly.

  • Chinese trading company TEMU are currently running an advert for their free drone promotion that features three adults standing on railway track with a moving train in the background…..what safety message does that convey?

  • Network Rail needs to move into “prosecution” mode more often.Obviously various difficulties if kids are under age.There are public instances, periodically, where mainline steam appears and people trespass for mobile photos.Very often, in those circumstances, BTP could easily issue Fixed Penalties.Line cable (etc) theft need jumping on too.

  • Not just on network rail. Great Central railway had it at the Easter weekend. People throwing stones at the railway carriages. Heritage railway at loughborough.

    • At the Severn Valley Railway Winter Gala a group of people were stood on a foot crossing having an argument. I suggested they move before they get run over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Exit mobile version