The rail network provider warns trespassing on the railway can lead to life changing injuries or even fatal consequences.
As well as trains not being able to stop quickly or swerve out of the way, where the railway is electrified, a lethal current – which is never turned off – runs through the overhead wires, such as on the East Coast Main Line.
Network Rail is aiming to hammer home the warnings about the dangers of trespassing.
Network Rail and British Transport Police have launched a new campaign - ‘Shattered Lives’ – to warn people about the life-changing dangers on, and around the railway where making the wrong choice could so easily lead to devastating consequences for them, their friends and family.
Every year sees thousands of trespass incidents across the rail network. Though often seen as a youth problem, the vast majority of trespassers – 75 per cent – are adults. Their reasons for straying onto the network include taking shortcuts and retrieving dropped items from the track. In the last three years, more than 150 adults have either been seriously injured or lost their lives as a result of trespassing on Britain’s rail network.
○ 41% would risk everything for their purse or wallet and 42% would get their keys
○ 890 trespass incidents were reported between April 2020 and March 2021 across Network Rail’s East Midlands route
Elisha Allen, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “It’s absolutely shocking that so many people are willing to risk their lives and step onto the track for their phone, purse or keys. Trespassing on the railway could lead to life-changing or even fatal consequences for the individual and shatter the lives of their loved ones forever.
“Every time someone strays onto the tracks, they are putting themselves at risk, even if there isn’t a train coming. The electricity in the overhead wires is never turned off. Please don’t take risks and don’t leave the people around you to pick up the pieces.”
Superintendent Alison Evans, of British Transport Police, said: “Unfortunately, every summer we see a rise in trespass incidents. This summer, please remember that stepping onto the railway at any time is dangerous and illegal. Accessing the tracks as a shortcut or to retrieve a personal possession you’ve dropped will have consequences that stay with you and those around you for life. Don’t let a moment of impatience ruin everything – it’s just not worth it.”
More information on the dangers of railway trespass and the hard-hitting You vs Train campaign can be found on the You vs Train website.
Information on the ‘Always On’ campaign: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/railway-safety-campaigns/always-on/