Network Rail is urging parents in East Yorkshire to speak to their children about the dangers of playing on the railway after shocking images show two teenage girls trespassing on the tracks in Howden.

The worrying images were captured earlier this month near Howden station and show two girls messing around on the tracks.  This is an extremely busy line with more than 100 passenger and freight trains using it every day, travelling at speeds of up to 90mph.

Not only is this behaviour illegal, it is also incredibly dangerous; trains travel at high speeds, they have a long stopping distance and they cannot swerve out of the way. Being struck by a train at this speed would have devastating, life-changing and fatal consequences, as well as being incredibly distressing for the railway staff who would have to deal with the incident.

With the Christmas break upon us, Network Rail is urging parents to speak to their children about staying safe near the railway and the importance of staying off the tracks.

Dawn Sweeting, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail, said: “There is never any excuse to trespass on the railway. It is not a playground and people need to treat it with the respect it deserves.

“This type of behaviour is incredibly dangerous and can be fatal. Sadly, we have seen too many times the tragic consequences of children ignoring the warnings and taking risks that have resulted in terrible injuries or death. We are asking parents to speak to their children about the dangers and how important it is to stay safe.

“We do a lot to highlight the dangers of messing around on and near the railway. We have a team of community safety managers who visit schools and engage with the community, as well as running campaigns, but we need everyone to do their bit too and take responsibility for their actions.”

Network Rail will be visiting schools in the area in January to highlight just how important it is to keep off the tracks and to behave sensibly around the railway.

Network Rail has also launched a hard-hitting safety campaign ‘You vs Train’ to highlight the devastating consequences which trespassing on the railway can have.