Children are risking their lives on Yorkshire's railways every day as this harrowing footage shows

Children are risking their lives on Yorkshire's railways every day, stark new figures reveal.

Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 8:00 am
Young people loiteringon the Castle Hills level crossing in Northallerton.

Train surfing, people walking across tracks and taking photographs from dangerous locations are among recent examples, Network Rail has said, with children responsible for around a third of all cases.

Several towns and cities across Yorkshire have also been identified as high risk trespass locations including Sheffield, Leeds, Dewsbury, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Figures reveal there were 40 trespass incidents recorded in Sheffield between April 2018 and March this year; 39 in Leeds and 34 in Doncaster.

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Young people loiteringon the Castle Hills level crossing in Northallerton.

This footage, released to the Yorkshire Post, shows various young people loitering on the Castle Hills level crossing in Northallerton. Two of the young people can be seen dancing on the train tracks minutes before a high speed train passes.

Another group can be seen making gestures at the driver of the train as it passes the crossing at around 125mph.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "This particular crossing traverses two lines, one of which is the East Coast Main Line.

"Over 180 passenger and freight trains travel over the crossing daily, at speeds of up to 125mph.

"Anyone coming into contact with a train would suffer devastating injuries which would have life changing consequences and even death.

"The railway here is also electrified. This overhead line equipment carries 25,000 volts, that’s 100 times the power supplied to a domestic home, and if you come into contact with it can kill you by delivering a powerful electric shock.

"If you do survive, you are likely to be left with life changing injuries and scarring. Electricity in overhead lines can ‘jump’. You don’t have to touch the overhead lines to get electrocuted. If you fly a kite or dangle things from bridges near the overhead power lines, the electricity can arc like lightning or jump up to three metres."

Research undertaken amongst teenagers last year found that, while most are aware that the railway is a dangerous place, most of them don’t realise quite how dangerous it is or the specific dangers they face when they step on the track.

Network Rail and British Transport Police (BTP) have now formed partnerships with two charities - the English Football League Trust and StreetGames - to encourage more young people to stay safe on the railway as part of a new campaign.

Allan Spence, head of passenger and public safety at Network Rail, said: "Children, and adults alike, continue to risk their lives by going onto the track and it has to stop. Every day we see over three dozen incidents and each one could be a potential catastrophe leading to life-changing injuries or even death."

“Sport is a powerful vehicle for communicating with this hard-to-reach audience, so by working in partnership with these sports charities we hope to be able to reach children and teens in those communities most at risk with this incredibly important safety message.”

As well as reaching children and teens via The EFL Trust and StreetGames, community engagement managers from across Network Rail, BTP and Train Operating Companies will be out teaching thousands of young people about railway safety.

A new film highlighting the hidden dangers of the railway will also be launched across social media alongside new content telling the story of Tom - a young boy who suffered life-changing injuries in 2014 when he was electrocuted by the overhead power cables – and his family, to illustrate the life-changing impact that the accident has had on them.

To watch the new video visit