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  • Trespassing and vandalism

    Every year people are killed and injured because they are trespassing or vandalising the railway

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  • Reporting trespass or vandalism

    Call the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40. Text 61016 or dial 999.

     

    Trespass on the railway

    Only certain parts of the railway are open to the public, like stations, platforms and safe crossing places: underpasses, public bridges, level crossings and public foot crossings.

    You will be trespassing if you go on to the tracks, embankments or any other area – for any reason at any time. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you trespass on the railway.

    The only exception is if you are told to go on the tracks by railway staff or the emergency services, for example if your train breaks down and you need to walk along the tracks to the nearest station.

    You are trespassing and putting your life in danger if you:

    • Access our property to do work to your property or garden
    • Take a short cut across the train tracks
    • Jump off the platform to pick up your newspaper or a dropped shoe
    • Chase after your cat or dog when they go on the tracks

    If you drop something on the railway track

    Do not try to retrieve the object, inform a member of staff or use a customer callpoint to ask for help.  Retrieving an object could risk your life.

  • Facts about trespass on the railway

    Trespass is never safe - it's the biggest cause of accidental death on the railway:

    • Trains may run at any time and in any direction, even after the last scheduled train or during railway engineering works
    • Electricity on the railway is never switched off, and the voltage is up to 100 times greater than the domestic electricity supply
    • Electricity from the high voltage overhead lines is not only dangerous if you touch the lines but also if you get too close, where it can ‘arc’ or jump up to 3 metres
    • On some lines the electricity is supplied to trains through electrified rails at ground level

    Trespass delays your journey

    When a trespasser is spotted trains are slowed down or stopped until the trespasser has been removed or the railway is reported clear.  20 per cent of delays to trains are caused by external factors, including trespass and vandalism. Find out more about how vandalism and trespass cause delays.

    Trespass is illegal

    Trespassing on the railway is illegal and can lead to a fine of up to £1000. It can also lead to other offences that endanger trains which carry penalties up to, and including, life imprisonment

  • Vandalism

    Vandalism - deliberate damage to railway property - includes graffiti, litter, flytipping and breaking and damaging railway property (such as fences, bridges, signs and tracks). Fly-tipping carries a fine of up to £1,000. Graffiti is a serious crime which can result in a prison sentence.

    Find out how we tackle graffiti on the railway and what you can do to report it.

    Our strategy to prevent trespass

    Engineering

    We maintain our railway boundaries to a good standard and work to repair any faults we are aware of swiftly. We also improve our boundary measures where the risk is highest.
    How we maintain the fences along the railway and what to do if there is a problem with one of our fences

    Education

    We work to educate the public, but particularly children and young people, about the dangers of trespass. This includes school visits, community events, safety centres, diversionary activities, and communications campaigns.  We've produced resources for parents and teachers on railway safety.

    Enforcement

    We work with the British Transport Police to take appropriate enforcement action against those who are trespassing on the railway.  This includes prosecuting trespassers, but also using community resolution orders and restorative justice processes to educate offenders, particularly young offenders, on the dangers of trespass.

  • Contact us

    If you have a concern or question, call our 24-hour helpline:

    03457 11 41 41

    or contact us online