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Every year, people are killed and injured because they are trespassing, or vandalising the railway
If you have a problem caused by trespass and vandalism or would like more information, please contact us.
Only certain parts of the railway are open to members of the public. Of course, you can go on the stations, platforms and safe crossing places: underpasses, public bridges, level crossings and public foot crossings, but you will be trespassing if you go on to the railway tracks, embankments or any other area – for any reason at any time.
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 can be fined up to £1,000 if you trespass on the railway.
You are trespassing on the railway and putting your life in danger if you:
Vandalism - deliberate damage to railway property - includes graffiti, litter, flytipping and breaking and damaging railway property (such as fences, bridges, signs and tracks).
See our page on graffiti.
Fly-tipping carries a fine of up to £1,000. Graffiti is a serious crime which can result in a prison sentence.
Much of the trespassing and vandalism is done by boys aged 8-16 years, but children as young as five years old have been found playing on the tracks.
The other big group of trespassers are adults who use the railway as a shortcut.
We do a lot of work to tell young people about the dangers of trespass and vandalism.
There are two websites with information about this problem: Rail Life, a website for young people and the Trackoff website for teachers and parents.
We also run and support a lot of community activities, including school visits, safety centres, diversionary activities and communications programmes. In areas with high levels of trespass and vandalism, we will replace existing fences with more secure fences to make it more difficult to access the railway.
If you have a concern or question, call our 24-hour helpline:
03457 11 41 41
or contact us online