Hurdler Dai Greene warns youngsters over rail shortcuts

World champion 400m hurdler Dai Greene is leading a new Network Rail safety campaign Dai Greene is the World 400m hurdles champion

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Olympic gold medal hopeful Dai Greene is leading a safety campaign aimed at young people who risk their lives by taking shortcuts across train tracks.

In an online advert, Welsh athlete Greene races across the tracks while an imaginary train is coming - but the champion hurdler does not make it.

Forty-nine people were killed last year trespassing on the rail network, according to Network Rail figures.

Trespassing also cost the industry £9m and caused 15 days of delays last year.

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott said there were hundreds of near misses each year.

Saturday night

Most were young men and most incidents occurred on a Saturday night, our correspondent said.

Dyan Crowther, of Network Rail, said: "When we have an event like this we are required to stop our trains, to caution them and obviously there's the impact on the business that that entails."

Train driver of 14 years Martin Crowe told the BBC: "I hope that people realise what it does to us and the dangers they are putting themselves in.

"Nine out of 10 times they might get away with it but that 10th time could be the end of it."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    Network Rail are doing their bit where I live by putting in automated barriers (to replace the signalman) and simultaneously closing off the footpath which ran under the signal box (which allowed latecomers to make the train after the barrier was down). Presumably the savings are used to pay for adverts featuring hurdlers? I can see no obvious flaw in their plan...

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Kids are chaotic and think they are bulletproof by nature. That's why we don't let them vote, get married and do everything an adult can do until they hit 18. Until that time, the kid's parents (i.e. not the government, not a train company, not a bunch of do-gooders) are responsible for trying to stop them from doing anything too stupid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    "I'm gonna live for ever" thinks the immature brain.
    "It will never happen to me"

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Whilst any attempt to stop stupid people killing themselves, I think there would be a far simpler way to bring the message home.
    Simply show the real aftermath of an encounter between human and train which would leave no doubt as to the risk and danger.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    mcfreaki comment 27.

    Yes we all did stupid things when we were young, but no one I knew despite our stupidity died.

    Nowadays nearly every kid in every school knows at least one person who has died, either speeding, speeding while drunk, speeding while on drugs, either driving or as a passenger.
    We knew we could die. These days they just don't seem to care, big difference.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Dont care to much about fools killing themselves. The driver lives through hell for the rest of his life for doing nothing wrong.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Unfortunately after an incident with a train, The NHS is bypassed somewhat in the majority of cases

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    It doesn't matter what warnings are given, juveniles are at an age when they will revolt against accepted standards and rules. We all went through a period when we thought we knew better than adults, and can look back upon incidents that could have cost us our lives. Celebrities from their age-groups would stand a better chance of influencing youngsters when it comes to unnecessary risks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    26.mcfreaki - "....... At the end of the day, all we can do is advise against this sort of thing."

    Which is why this campaign is to be welcomed - people will always do some stupid things, but if we can reduce the volume of stupid acts we can save the NHS a small fortune every year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Has society, particularly young'uns become so stupid that we have to think up an advert to stop them from walking out in front of several hundred tons of speeding metal?
    Its the same mentality as the kids who think its 'cool' to overtake on blind bends in their underpowered skates.

    Its not 'cool' to die kids, you are not hero's, at all. My thoughts are with the driver, not idiots like you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Children always have played "chicken", on roads or rails and it obviously could have serious consequences, so well done Dai for raising awareness of this issue.

    BBC - could we now please have a chance to make comments on issues like regional pay that directly affect Wales?

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Kids are always gonna do stupid things, and always have done- don't go claiming that none of you did stupid things in your youth which under different circumstances would have ended in your untimely demise. Hell, even just going outside one time could trigger a series of events which could end up with you dead. At the end of the day, all we can do is advise against this sort of thing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    So just what is the acceptable death rate for any particular Human activity? Local council have just spent £3.5 mill on a new underpass when a simple gate crossing could have sufficed - if used correctly. I wonder if the money could have saved more lives if used differently?

    (with due awareness of the impact of fatalities and injuries on all involved)

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    As some posts say we are all educated about how to cross the road and trains etc.

    If people deliberately put themselves and others at risk by playing chicken or trying to impress others then they should be punished.

    Anyone caught on a train line where they shouldnt be passing or have access to then the individual(s) must be punished with a large fine and community work

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    @ 7
    Every day as part of my job I receive calls to send out clean-up teams to mainly Fatal RTC's around mainland UK. What they see is bad enough and they all get the offer of councilling after each call out.. But that is nothing to what the driver and emergency teams see at the site of an incident with a train... no explaination required

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    To be perfectly candid I only worry when the train is late. You can't wrap these people in cotton wool.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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