Shocking CCTV footage shows kids risking their lives on the railway in Yorkshire: Child cycling on the railway in Shipley, Bradford

Thursday 13 Apr 2017

Shocking CCTV footage shows kids risking their lives on the railway in Yorkshire

London North Eastern & East Midlands

Two pieces of inexplicable CCTV footage shows young people risking their lives to snap selfies and use their phones on the track.

The footage has been released as a warning to youngsters, who are being urged to stay safe and not to trespass on the railway. Both incidents happened in Yorkshire, a region where there were over 900 instances of trespass on the railway last year.

The first piece of mind-blowing footage was captured at Halifax station last summer and shows two teenagers jumping from the platform edge and onto the tracks to take a photo, before climbing back onto the platform a short time before a train pulls into the station.

The next piece of video footage was recorded just three weeks ago in Shipley, Bradford. It shows three boys playing on the tracks and using their phones on the railway. If this wasn’t dangerous enough, the trio are then filmed throwing items at the overhead lines, which is extremely dangerous. The lines carry 25,000 volts of electricity and would deliver a powerful electric shock to anyone coming into contact with the wires. 

The footage has been released by Network Rail, British Transport Police (BTP) and Northern to coincide with the launch of a campaign to tackle the issue of trespass on the railway.

Network Rail and BTP are behind the campaign which is specifically aimed at young people.  Research shows that they are more likely to trespass on the tracks, particularly in spring and during the school summer holidays.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of trespassing on the railway and implores young people not risk their lives on the tracks, as well as encouraging parents to instil these warnings into their children.

Hayley Bull, community safety manager at Network Rail, said: “The footage is absolutely shocking; young people in particular need to realise that they are risking their lives when they choose to trespass on the railway.

“We invest lots of time and money into keeping people safe on the railway but we need users to do their bit too. It may seem harmless to take a shortcut, or fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.”

Chief Inspector Lorna McEwan from BTP in Leeds said: “We believe the number of children we encounter trespassing every year is sadly just the tip of the iceberg

“Every single day we are called to the tracks to incidents similar to those captured in the footage, Train drivers regularly have to sound their horn or apply their emergency brake In a desperate bid to avoid youths on the line, who then run off, seemingly unaware of the danger they have put themselves in.

“We continue to do all we can to keep youngsters safe by patrolling areas where we know they’re likely to trespass and prevent them from doing so.

“However, we cover thousands of miles of track and we cannot tackle this issue alone. That is why we are urging parents and young people to heed this warning and take a reality check when it comes to trespass. It’s not a game: they are real tracks, with real trains and real-life consequences.”

Paul Barnfield, Regional Director for Northern said: “It is truly unbelievable that anyone would risk their life by trespassing on the railway. Sadly many young people seem to be drawn to the tracks and their actions not only put themselves at risk of injury, but also have a significant impact on the running of the railway.

“We fully support the drive by BTP and Network Rail to educate young people about the potential consequences of trespassing, and will continue to work with partners and local schools to assist in this vital programme.”

To find out how to keep your children safe on the railway this summer visit


Notes to editors: If you would like to view the footage, please call our press office on 01904 383 180 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Amy Brenndorfer
Communications Executive

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: