In the last year, there have been 39 recorded instances of trespass in Wakefield, including people climbing on freight wagons, which are directly below live overhead line equipment.
This type of behaviour is incredibly dangerous, trains travel at high speeds; they have a long stopping distance and they cannot swerve out of the way. Some of the railway in this area is also electrified, meaning overhead power lines are installed which carry 25,000 volts. Coming into contact with this equipment or being hit by a train would have life changing consequences, cause devastating injuries and can be fatal.
Electricity in overhead lines can ‘jump’. You don’t have to touch the overhead lines to get electrocuted. If you fly a kite or dangle things from bridges near the overhead power lines, the electricity can arc like lightning or jump up to 3 metres.
With the weather improving and the nights getting lighter, 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: “Trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous.
“The railway is not a playground and people need to treat it with the respect it deserves. 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.
“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.”