Northern Ireland

Rail line collision staged to highlight track dangers

A graphic re-enactment of a collision on a railway line in NI is due to be staged later.

It will highlight the potentially fatal consequences of trespassing on the tracks.

Translink said in the past year there had been about 10 incidents a month where motorists had failed to follow rules at level crossings, sometimes resulting in "near misses".

It said such actions risked the lives of motorists, staff and passengers.

The exercise, on a railway line just outside Antrim, is being carried out in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

Ian Campbell of Translink said: "On some occasions the train driver hasn't even had time to react, it's been so close.

"Our trains travel at speeds over 90mph, they weigh between 150 and 300 tonnes and some of our trains take over a mile to stop at those speeds.

"People are too relaxed around railway crossings. They try to save 30 seconds to a minute off their journey and they don't appreciate that they could be putting their own lives at risk and those of others."

In 2010, 121 people were prosecuted for safety related incidents on Northern Ireland's railways. Last year 160 people were prosecuted, 91 of those relating to safety.

There are several hundred level crossings in Northern Ireland and Translink said CCTV footage was helping to identify offenders.

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