Youngsters urged to keep off the tracks!

THE DANGERS of trespassing on local railway lines is being emphasised to youngsters and their parents ahead of a peak period for vandalism.

Spring, with the start of the lighter nights, is traditionally a time when incidents such as stone-throwing, putting obstructions in front of trains, trespassing and lineside vandalism, begin to increase across the railway network.

Network Rail and British Transport Police (BTP) have issued the warning that not only is it illegal to trespass on the tracks, it can also endanger their safety and that of people working for and travelling on the railway.

Mark Henderson, Network Rail community safety manager for Scotland, said: “What they must realise is that their actions are not only illegal and potentially dangerous to others – they can prove fatal if you are struck by a train.

“We take trespass on our infrastructure extremely seriously and work closely with British Transport Police to educate the public on the dangers of misusing the railway and to stop those who are determined to trespass.

“Anyone who has concerns about specific locations where they know trespassers are gaining access to the railway can report them to our national helpline 24 hours a day on 08457 114141.”

Chief Superintendent Ellie Bird, area commander for BTP’s Scottish area, also underlined the dangers to anyone trespassing.

She added: “Anyone who is messing about on or near the railway is putting themselves in great danger, as well as the lives of staff working on the rail network and passengers travelling on trains.

“I am personally urging all parents to emphasise the dangers and ensure youngsters keep away from the tracks.”

Information about criminal activity on the railway can be passed to BTP on 0800 405040 or Crimestoppers, 0800 555111.