Thursday 3 Apr 2003


South East
Network Rail is urging Dorset residents to stay away from the railway lines following a recent increase in trespassers on the Weymouth to Bournemouth line. Modern trains are fast and quiet and run throughout the day and night. They can be virtually on top of a trespasser before they know it and unlike a car, the train cannot swerve out of the way or stop immediately. Passenger trains can weigh several hundred tonnes and when travelling at high speed can take almost a mile and half to stop. Not only is there a danger from the trains themselves, but also rails and sleepers can be slippery or tripped over causing injury to trespassers or the risk of electrocution. Points can be moved by the signaller without them knowing there is someone on the line and its possible for the trespasser to get trapped in them and end up with a crushed foot. What seems to be an innocent short cut across the railway could result in death, and could endanger the lives of passengers and rail staff. Anyone who sees somebody trespassing on the railway or doing anything else that they should not is urged to report it to British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40. The number is open 24 hours a day and calls are free. -more- Dorset RC– 2 Network Rails Wessex Area General Manager, Dave Hooper commented, “Trespassing on the railway is a serious offence and we are asking parents to help us to remind children to stay of the line and not put themselves in a position where they could be hurt or killed. We urge those who are old enough to recognise the dangers and keep off the railway tracks. If they ignore the warnings and go on to commit an offence they will face prosecution.”

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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.

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