More children trespass on railways in summer, parents warned

Warning and danger signs in front of a moving train Image copyright Alamy

Parents are being warned that children are almost twice as likely to trespass on the railway in summer than winter.

Network Rail, which manages Britain's track system, said the longer evenings and extended school holidays "spell danger" for young people.

Over the past 10 years almost 170 young people have been killed after trespassing on the railway.

Figures show there were almost 600 incidents of under-25s trespassing in August 2015; twice as many as December.

Some 72% of all trespassers killed over the past 10 years were hit by a train.

A further 17% were electrocuted, while others fell from structures or trains.

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'Illegal and dangerous'

Taking a short cut was the motivation for 42% of trespass incidents, with 19% due to thrill-seeking.

Graham Hopkins, of Network Rail, urged parents to warn children against taking a short cut over rail lines or playing on the tracks, saying it was "not only illegal. It is also dangerous."

British Transport Police said its officers patrolled areas of track prone to trespassers and put up safety posters.

But it warned that its staff had to cover 10,000 miles of track country-wide and "cannot tackle this issue alone".

Network Rail has also contacted Nintendo and app developers over "safety concerns" regarding Pokemon Go being playable close to live train tracks.

The BBC understands gamers have been walking onto the tracks at Birmingham New Street station.

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