Tom Crosby received a 25,000-volt electric shock while ‘playing’ on the railway when he was just 14 years old.
The horrifying injuries he suffered changed his life forever. He now works with Network Rail to visit schools and community groups to warn children about the dangers of playing on the tracks and tell them how to stay safe around the railway.
“I always just thought playing on the tracks was a bit of fun. I never thought it would leave me with nerve damage and visible scars from skin grafts that I'll have for the rest of my life. I was burnt from head to toe and the doctors told my mum that there was only a 25 per cent chance I'd make it through the night.
“After the incident my life completely changed. I went downhill and… reached rock bottom. I decided to contact Network Rail to try and do something positive. They have helped me to tell my story to children and adults across the country to warn people not to trespass on the tracks.
“If I was to tell my 14-year-old-self something, I'd say the railway isn't a playground, it's somewhere that can kill you and that's something no one's family should have to go through.”
You vs. Train
This summer the railway industry launched a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of young people taking risks on the tracks – the proportion of such incidents has increased by almost 80 per cent in the last five years.
More than a quarter of teenagers (27%) confess to behaving in a way that could endanger their life on the railway. One in 10 teenagers admits to walking along the railway line, including more than two fifths (42%) in the last year.
Four years ago, Tom Hubbard, then 16, escaped death after climbing onto a parked train. He was also electrocuted by about 25,000 volts from overhead power cables and suffered third degree burns across 57% of his body.
Tom and his mum Siobhan are taking part in the You vs. Train campaign, which includes a short film based (pictured above) on their story.