Tuesday 16 Dec 2003
SHORT CUTS CUT SHORT LIVES
- Region & Route:
- South East
Network Rail is urging members of the public across the South to keep off the railway lines and stay alive over the Christmas holidays.
It is a popular myth that the power to the railway lines shuts down over the festive period but this is not the case. Electricity flows through the line 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and it is never switched off – even on Christmas Day. Trains running on electrified railways take their power from the conductor rail, sometimes called the third rail, which is found alongside the track. The third rail has electricity passing through it at 750 volts and is particularly dangerous to trespassers as it looks like it is part of the track itself.
Contact with the third rail results in a massive, often fatal, electric shock. Despite the warnings both adults and children alike have been killed or seriously burnt and scarred for life as a result of trespassing on the railway.
It is often believed that the problem of railway trespass is one that only involves children. However research has shown that over 17 million acts of railway crime are committed in the UK every year by people aged 17 and over. Taking a short cut home across the railway this Christmas is not only a criminal offence carrying a fine of up to £1000, but also could be potentially fatal.
Anyone who sees somebody trespassing on or causing damage to the railway is urged to report them to the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The numbers are open 24 hrs a day and the calls are free.
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Xmas – 2
Margaret Barker, Network Rail’s Route Crime Risk Manager said, “Every single act of route crime has the potential to cause serious harm or even death and can have long-term effects for those involved. If you are one of the adults who trespass on the railway not only are you putting your own life at risk, but you are also setting an appalling example to children who are with you or see you.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
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