More people than ever are risking their lives on the railway by trespassing on the tracks. Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks
The dangers may not always be obvious but the electricity on the railway is always on and trains can travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if they see you, they can’t stop in time.
Shocking new footage below shows just how reckless people can be in taking unnecessary risks.
Taking a shortcut, playing on the tracks or just picking up something mistakenly dropped from a platform can result in serious life-changing injuries or death, as these real life stories show.
Simon Munn, a British wheelchair basketball player who was part of the hugely successful Team GB at both the Rio 2016 Paralympics and the London 2012 Paralympics, tragically lost his leg in a railway accident when he was 22 years old. Simon has enjoyed some great success as a Paralympian, but the events that set him on that path are harrowing.
“I decided to walk home from the pub. I didn’t live too far, just across the railway. I had somehow ended up on the wrong side of the track. I had to walk an extra five minutes to get to a crossing. I thought, ‘nah, I’ll just jump over, it will save me time’.
“As I crossed the track I got my foot caught. I don’t know how long I was there, but I heard the train coming. I couldn’t move. Trains moving that fast can’t stop in time to miss you and they can’t swerve. It’s too late by then.
“I spent the next few weeks in hospital and had to have my leg amputated. Now I really know what the cost of trespassing and taking shortcuts can be. I was lucky it wasn’t my life.
“For anyone who messes around on the railway or thinks that it’s safe as long as you can’t see a train, I would say the dangers are real. It’s not cool, it’s not funny. It’s not worth the risk.”
I spent the next few weeks in hospital and had to have my leg amputated.
Tom Crosby received a 25,000-volt electric shock while ‘playing’ on the railway when he was just 14 years old. The horrifying injuries he suffered changed his life forever. He now works with Network Rail to visit schools and community groups to warn children about the dangers of playing on the tracks and tell them how to stay safe around the railway.
“I always just thought playing on the tracks was a bit of fun. I never thought it would leave me with nerve damage and visible scars from skin grafts that I'll have for the rest of my life. I was burnt from head to toe and the doctors told my mum that there was only a 25 per cent chance I'd make it through the night.
The railway isn't a playground. It's somewhere that can kill you.
“After the incident my life completely changed. I went downhill and last year I reached rock bottom. I decided to contact Network Rail to try and do something positive. They have helped me to tell my story to children and adults across the country to warn people not to trespass on the tracks. If I was to tell my 14-year-old-self something, I'd say the railway isn't a playground, it's somewhere that can kill you and that's something no one's family should have to go through.”