Campaign launched to combat dangerous behaviour on the tracks

The rail industry is backing a campaign to combat dangerous behaviour on the railway.

It comes as the number of young people taking risks on tracks has soared by almost 80 per cent in the last five years.

Warning - this article contains imagery some readers may find disturbing.

Alarming figures show more than a quarter of teenagers (27%) confess to behaving in a way that could endanger their life on the railway. One in 10 teenagers admits to walking along the railway line, including more than two fifths (42%) in the last year.

Tom Hubbard is among those living with the serious physical and psychological consequences of behaving dangerously on the railway.

Tom was a young boy when he was electrocuted by overhead power cables after climbing on top of a train in 2014. He endured third degree burns across 57% of his body.

The rail industry and the British Transport Police have launched the You Vs Train campaign to confront teenagers with the devastating consequences for them and their loved ones when they make the perilous decision to go on the railway.

The campaign features a short film reenacting Tom’s story, which will be launched across social media and shown in cinemas throughout the summer. Tom’s family will also feature in the campaign to show how his accident has impacted them.

Seven under 18s have died by going on the railway in the last 12 months alone

Seven under 18s have died by going on the railway in the last 12 months alone

Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, said: “The railway is full of both obvious and hidden dangers. The electricity on the railway is always on and always dangerous. Trains can also travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if a driver can see your child, they can’t stop in time and they can’t change direction. Parents - please help us keep your children safe by educating them about what they take on when they step on the track.”

Robin Smith, assistant chief constable at BTP, said: “We hope that by sharing Tom’s story, young people who might have previously considered trespassing on the railways will think twice.

“We want his story to be heard - the tracks are not a playground. They’re incredibly dangerous and, as Tom’s story shows, can easily result in serious injury or worse.

“We hope the campaign will help young people to understand the risks, and help them to make the right decision and stay away from railway lines. Equally, it will also help them understand that bad decisions don’t just affect them, but they will have a deep and lasting impact on their families and friends as well. This campaign is not just for our young people but also their friends and family.”

To find out more about the campaign search #YouVsTrain on social media or visit You vs. train website.