Near miss list features train lines in town

23 April 2009... Rail line, train track, metro, high speed train
23 April 2009... Rail line, train track, metro, high speed train

Train lines in Ilkeston feature on a list of ‘near misses’ released by Network Rail in a bid to stop youngsters playing on railway tracks.

Network Rail, the authority responsible for the UK’s railway network, has produced a list of 23 “near misses” made by drivers travelling through Derbyshire in the past five years.

It lists two incidents at Ilkeston and another six at Long Eaton and Network Rail say many more incidents could have gone unreported.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Trespass on the railway is incredibly dangerous.

“Young people who play chicken are not only risking their lives but also cause shock and distress to train drivers who cannot swerve or brake in time if there are people immediately ahead of them.

“Statistics of trespass and incidents where people have nearly been struck by trains are often under-reported but are taken very seriously.”

The last reported fatality was at Toton Sidings, near Long Eaton, in 1999.

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said it prosecuted all those it caught trespassing on train lines.

He said: “Anyone who trespasses on the railway is taking a huge gamble with their own lives.

“The railway is an inherently dangerous environment, with high speed trains and electric currents, and it should never be treated as a playground .

“Trains can approach quietly and often when you do hear an approaching train it can be too late.”

Anyone who witnesses trespassing on the railway, should call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.

Some of the reported incidents include:

Ilkeston , August 8, 2008: Three young females reported sitting on the track “playing chicken.”

Ilkeston, February 7, 2011 : A man with a bald head and wearing glasses is reported trespassing on the line by the driver, who makes an emergency stop. Police and ambulance staff arrive to take the man away.

Long Eaton, June 3, 2011: A trespasser with his back to the train forces the driver to make an emergency stop. The driver sounds the horn. The man does not respond until seven seconds from impact, when he jumps clear.

Long Eaton, May 28, 2010: Report of youths running in front of a train at Canal Bridge.