Vandalism and trespass

Vandalism and trespass on the railway is reckless and causes delays. 

Trespassing on the railway is illegal and dangerous. You could be taken to court and face a £1,000 fine.

For this reason, when we see someone trespassing, we have to stop all trains in the vicinity to remove trespassers, check for damage and clear blockages. This not only delays nearby trains, but also has a knock-on effect on trains across the network, sometimes lasting for hours.

Certain parts of the railway, including stations, underpasses and level crossings, are open to the public. But when people go onto the tracks, embankments or other areas, they are trespassing.

When people trespass on the railway and vandalise our property, we need to repair any damage and make sure the railway is safe before allowing trains to run again. This causes delays for passengers. Vandalism includes graffitilitterfly-tipping, overhead powerline and cable theft, and damage to fences, signs and tracks.

How we work with communities to promote safety and prevent vandalism and trespassing

  • Our community safety teams work hard – particularly in trespassing hotspots – to make more people aware of the dangers of trespass on the railway.
  • Where there are known hotspots, we work with the train companies locally to create action plans.
  • We install fences that make it more difficult to access the railway.
  • We run safety campaigns with schools, charities, local councils and the British Transport Police (BTP) focusing on the two groups of people most likely to trespass: teenagers and those in their early 20s.
  • We run safety campaigns to reach young people directly, and provide resources for teachers and parents.
  • We partner with the BTP to encourage people to report incidents of trespassing and vandalism. If you see someone trespassing on the railway, call 0800 40 50 40 or 999, or text 61016.

Find out more