Alarming new figures from Network Rail and British Transport Police reveal more people than ever are risking their lives on the rail network by trespassing on the tracks in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. The data, which looks at trends over the last five years, shows trespass incidents are at all-time high in the region, while nationally one person trespasses and dices with death every hour. Research also shows young people are more likely to take a risk on the tracks, with seasonal peaks in incidents coinciding with the spring and summer school holidays.
To combat this, London Rugby League Foundation have been working closely with Network Rail delivering the Tackling Track Safety Project to thousands of young people in schools across Cheshunt with over 1,560 7-11 year olds engaged with vital rail safety education leading up to the summer break. As well as this primary school delivery, there have been in excess of 2,500 11-16 year olds engaged with the project delivery across 3 high schools – all of whom are situated less than a mile away from the network.
Alan Spence from Network Rail explains:
“Every April we see a huge rise in the number of people taking a risk on the rail network and it’s worrying that these numbers seem to be going up. Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks. The dangers may not always be obvious but the electricity on the railway is always on and trains can travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if they see you, they can’t stop in time.
“As the railway gets busier and we electrify more lines to improve services, we must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers. It may seem harmless to take a shortcut, or fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.”
The delivery of this education culminated in a Primary School tag rugby festival which saw numerous primary schools from the area come together to celebrate their participation in the project over the previous four weeks at the home of local football club Cheshunt FC.
To find out how to keep your children safe on the railway this summer visit;