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Youth charity promotes rail safety after reports of 'train surfing'

Youth charity promotes rail safety after reports of 'train surfing' 17 Oct 2013 11:30 from: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/youth-charity-promotes-rail-safety-6192692

Charity, train company and British Transport Police join forces to raise awareness of the dangers of so-called 'train surfing' after incidents reported in Sunbury

Youngsters urged not to play near railway lines or stations after reports of so-called 'train surfing'
Youngsters urged not to play near railway lines or stations after reports of so-called 'train surfing'

A railway is not a playground – that is the stark message put out to children who are risking their lives by hanging on to moving trains.

A campaign to highlight the dangers of the phenomenon known as ‘train surfing’ has been launched as transport police and South West Trains joined forces to issue urgent warnings.

It has been reported several times around Sunbury station in the past few months, with the latest incident on Thursday October 3, according to the British Transport Police.

Now the Lifetrain Trust, a charity that helps young people and took over management of five youth centres in Spelthorne last year, is getting involved.

Tracey Osborn, the trust’s youth work projects manager, said: “We have been made aware that there are some young people engaging in train surfing. We want to raise awareness of the dangers of it.”

The trust is to invite members of Network Rail to meet youngsters on the newly launched Bus Shelter project for an informal chat when it stops in Spelthorne during the coming weeks.

British Transport Police officers have issued their own safety warning after a report of youths clinging to the side of a train at Sunbury.

South West Trains and the Network Rail Alliance warned it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured or killed.

'Gambling with their lives'

A spokesman said: “This type of behaviour is incredibly dangerous.

“Those taking part seem to have no regard for their own safety. They are clearly gambling with their lives.

“The railway is not a playground and should never be treated as such.”

In the latest incident this month, railway staff called British Transport Police after spotting youths riding on the side of a passenger train at 7pm along the length of the platform. Officers carried out a search of the area.

It was the fourth incident of its kind in Sunbury to be reported this year, with similar incidents in March, May and at the end of August.

A transport police spokesman said: “These youths are clearly oblivious to the risks, putting their own lives in danger through their thoughtless actions.

“These are serious offences and we would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour at the station on the day in question, or during the earlier incidents.”

The railway spokesman said they are asking parents to take responsibility and emphasise to their children the very real dangers of this type of criminality activity.

“This is not about stopping children having fun – it is about keeping them safe from harm,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting 524.


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