Fatalities

When there is a fatality on the railway there are inevitable delays; a lot of work is being done to reduce their occurrence and the subsequent disruption to services

Whenever there is a fatality on the railway, we follow a strict procedure:

  • If the person was struck by a train it is brought to an immediate stop, blocking the line and possibly delaying other trains in the area
  • The British Transport Police (BTP) must attend to take witness statements and determine if further investigation is required
  • A specialist funeral company will attend and remove the deceased
  • Our mobile operations team will then determine if the train is safe to proceed
  • The driver of the train is always replaced

Of the fatalities on the railway in 2016/17:

  • Six occurred on a level crossing
  • 28 involved people trespassing on the railway
  • 237 were suicide or suspected suicide

Around 4.5 per cent of suicides in the UK take place on the railway, but the emotional, human and financial costs are disproportionately high as they can take place in view of passengers, station staff and drivers and result in considerable disruption to services.

What we’re doing to reduce fatalities

While our efforts in this area are clearly focussed on prevention, we have started working more closely with the BTP and have improved our procedures to reduce the time before rail services can resume.

Our suicide prevention programme

Our railway safety campaigns - including trespass, station safety, suicide prevention and level crossing misuse

Find out more

Suicide prevention

Trespass

Level crossing safety

Educational safety resources - developed with teachers and pupils