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 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 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 17.

    I overheard a few idle youngsters bragging how "cool" they were to jump around the railtrack and step away just when the trains were approaching. I did not know "being cool" nowadays means putting your own life and others' at risks. There is a thin line being a fool and being a memory. But the fools think they are heroes! *shrugs*

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I wonder what it will take for the fools who mess around near train tracks realise the danger they're putting themselves in. A few years ago a lady and her grandson accidentally tripped on a railway crossing and got killed by a train, yet I still see gangs of teenagers hanging around there. Unfortunately it will take more tragedies before this hits home.


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