Network Rail is warning families to use level crossings safely after a family of four were found taking photographs on the tracks at a level crossing in Hutton between Shenfield and Billericay on the Southend Victoria branch line.

Instead of crossing over quickly, the family of four, which includes two young children, stopped to take photographs on the tracks at Knights level crossing in Hutton. A train was less than three minutes away.

Trains travel at up to 80mph on this line and the number of train services have increased over the last few weeks, which means the risk is extremely high.

Network Rail’s community safety manager, Becky Crocker, was shocked by the images and has issued a warning to others, “Level crossings are dangerous and just as you wouldn’t stand in the middle of a busy road to take photographs, nor should you on a level crossing. Trains travel at high speeds and can’t swerve out of the way or stop quickly and you don’t always hear them until its too late.

“The consequences are devastating and those who live to tell the tale are likely to have serious and often life-changing injuries. It’s really not worth it.”

At level crossings pedestrians should:

  • Stop, Look, Listen
  • Keep children and dogs close
  • Adhere to any instructions and follow any signs
  • Cross quickly and close any gates behind you

Information about level crossings, including a map of locations, is available at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/level-crossing-safety/