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More than 50 railway trespass incidents since start of lockdown

By Gavin Musgrove

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Network Rail Scotland is urging the public to stay safe and stay off the railway during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Despite most people observing the government’s guidelines on staying home and social distancing, Scotland’s Railway is still seeing trespass and vandalism on the tracks.

More than 50 trespass incidents have been recorded on Scotland’s railway tracks since March 20 when schools closed ahead of the full lockdown three days later.

In recent weeks trespassers have been spotted on rail lines across the country including locations in the Highlands, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Perthshire and the Lothians.

The incidents include two adults and a child spotted trespassing near Culloden on March 27.

With trespassing on the tracks often also increasing during the lighter spring nights and school holidays, Network Rail is urging the public to keep off the tracks.

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “During the lockdown keeping your distance doesn’t just mean from other people – it means from the tracks too.

“Trespassing on the railway can be a fatal mistake. Trains take a long time to stop and anyone struck by one will suffer life-changing injuries or worse.

“The railway is also full of hidden dangers – like overhead power lines which can carry up to 25,000 volts and kill instantly.

“We’re urging the public to stay safe and off the railway – allowing us to focus on supporting the country through this crisis by keeping key workers and vital freight services on the move.”

Network Rail works closely with the British Transport Police to keep Scotland’s Railway secure and trespassers and vandals will be prosecuted.

The public can also help to keep the railway safe by contacting Network Rail’s 24-hour helpline on 03457 114141 to report any locations where trespassers are gaining access to the tracks.

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