West Midlands: Person v Train near miss prompts appeal

Roger Smith - Contributor 23 comments 4 Min Read
Langley Green level crossing misuse. // Credit: Network Rail

has issued an appeal for people to use level crossings safely after a near-miss close to a railway station in the .

CCTV footage has been released by Network Rail showing a man deliberately climbing over closed barriers and casually walking across the tracks and just missed by a passing train with seconds to spare.

Langley Green level crossing misuse. // Credit: Network Rail
Man in the middle of level crossing having jumped over the barriers. // Credit: Network Rail

The near miss happened at a level crossing on Station Road in Langley Green, a site where there has been a recent increase in people deliberately misusing the level crossing.

The crossing is on the busy railway line between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge Junction, and each time people misuse the crossing they risk their lives for the sake of saving a few minutes of their time.

Trespassing at Langley Green level crossing. // Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail has released the as a safety warning, and as an appeal for local people to only ever cross the railway lines when the barriers are up and the warning alarms are silent.

The incident in the CCTV image occurred on 27th April but is just one example of misuse at this crossing and others across the West Midlands.

In the last five months, 74 instances of level crossing misuse have been recorded across the West Midlands region, with eight recorded at the Station Road crossing in Langley Green.

To emphasise the message about safety at level crossings, Network Rail will be delivering safety leaflets to residents in the locality and running awareness days throughout the region. The message is that people should:

  • Concentrate as it's easy to become distracted, especially by phones, music, and conversation.
  • Always follow the relevant signs and instructions.
  • Check both ways before crossing and don't attempt to cross if there is a train coming,.
  • Understand the meanings of lights, barriers, and alarms that provide an alert of an approaching train.
  • Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.
Children trespassing on the railway in Wiltshire. // Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail has recently launched a new safety campaign called ‘You've crossed the line' that aims to make users of footpath level crossings more aware of their surroundings and the potential dangers.

Further information about the campaign and advice on using level crossing safely can be found online at www.networkrail.co.uk/distracted.

Trespassers often don't realise that not only are they putting themselves in danger, but also cause significant delays to trains. Earlier this year Network Rail and British Transport Police issued a joint warning about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.

This footage at Langley Green is extremely disappointing and concerning. Moments later and this could have led to tragedy, which doesn t bear thinking about for the sake of a few minutes.

Despite the clear and obvious dangers of not using level crossings correctly, and all the work we do to educate people about how to use them, it seems people still want to risk their lives. I can t stress enough the importance of following the rules to help keep everyone safe.

Natalie Stretton, head of operational risk for Network Rail ‘ Central route

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  • 28 5 24, One time of the day this would’nt have happened. A fully functional Police Service would have picked him up in no time or apprehended him/her whilst attempting to brake the law. Offender may be the product of delinquent parenting.

  • Near miss my arse, Of course people get on with their business because network rail brings the barriers down too soon and keep them down too long, there’s a barrier at the end of the platform at a station in London where they bring the barriers down long before the train arrives at the station keep it down while the train stops at the station and unloads passengers and then for about a 60 seconds after the train has passed

    • Ever heard of trains overshooting? This is why the barriers close, to avoid accidents in this rare but very possible scenario. And don’t try and tell me it doesn’t happen, as a train driver I know perfectly well it does.

      Had you ever been in front of that train with your heart in your throat seeing that person cross in fromt of you, you wouldn’t say ‘nearmiss my arse”.

  • Only a couple or three weeks ago my train was delayed by an hour because of idiots having been spotted on the lines. For me it was not so inconvenient because my journey had been a relatively short one, but dozens of other passengers were required to change trains with all that inconve nience because the service, heading towards the English south, had to be re-scheduled at very short notice. Just because of thoughtless prats.

  • Here’s a scenario: Man casually climbs over barrier, strolls across in front of train but is ahead and clear so climbs far barrier successfully. Onlookers bemused, including even less responsible individuals who decide its OK so decide to follow as train gets nearer if they get away with it so be it. If they don’t the consequences affect a lot of people, including as already noted, the driver, who by this time will be braking hard, knowing that he/she cannot pull up in time. My late father-in-law was a BR area manager. Attended a lot of hits and although stoical, definitely displayed symptoms of PTSD for the rest of his life. He further maintained, the driver was a forgotten victim. THE BARRIERS MEAN DON’T CROSS. So set an example and don’t cross stupid!

    • Entirely agree. So far after 10 years driving I haven’t killed anyone, but have been very very close on a few occasions and have seen the results of train v human – almost always fatal. And you’re right about PTSD which you don’t always notice at first but it creeps up on you and comes out often when you least expect it… I don’t know why some people ignore the signs and barriers, but they usually only save themselves a few seconds at most…

  • Perhaps they think it’s clever to dice with death. Not so clever if they get injured or killed and then blame the driver. Completely irresponsible!

  • People know what they are doing if they get injured or worse for doing it then so be it …. It’s the poor driver you have to feel sorry for if the train runs person over . Train shouldn’t even stop if there is an incident..

  • Doesn’t matter if he’d had stopped for something he’d been splattered all over and that train driver would be dealing with the aftermath of one persons decisions to be stupid

    • This is the problem idiots replying near he was nearly out of sight, the gates are there for a reason and closed for a reason, how’s about he tripped and fell whoops splat …… It’s done for a reason not for fun

    • There having a laugh seconds to spare ?

      Maybe they should think about closing the barrier when the train is actually near the crossing , just a thought 🤔

      • Trains travel at different speeds and thus reach the crossing in different lengths of time. This has been worked out over many years by very intelligent people but I’m sure you know best 👍

    • Yep, no danger despite the hype. It shouldn’t be done, tho; especially as this guy doesn’t seem to look in either direction!! That IS worrying!!

      • Risk of danger… Wow. You know what I say? If someone is not clearly marked that you shouldn’t do something, or that there’s something dangerous ahead, I totally get it and things should change, warnings should be placed, etc. But when you cross over a barrier, ignoring warning signs, and you get hit by a train, I don’t care. That’s on you 100%. Nothing should change. Not even a penny of taxpayer money should be spent.

    • So what, still an incredibly stupid stunt to pull, get hit by a train and they shovel the pieces into a body bag, not worth the risk just to save a couple of minutes at most!!

    • Would have been alot closer had the driver not applied a full service break application upon sighting the tresspasser.

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