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Dramatic video shows pedestrians within inches of death in railway tunnel

Published 20/09/2016

The near miss happened on Northern Ireland's scenic north coast
The near miss happened on Northern Ireland's scenic north coast

A dramatic video has been released showing two pedestrians coming within inches of death after they wandered in to a railway tunnel as a train approached.

The near miss on Northern Ireland's scenic north coast was released by operator Translink to highlight the dangers of trespassing on the lines.

The clip shows a lifeguard waving at the train as it approaches the tunnel at Downhill Strand, Co Londonderry.

The CCTV footage then goes dark as the train speeds through the tunnel before two figures suddenly emerge on the left of the tracks and dive to the side as the carriages flash past.

The two people escaped with only minor scratches.

Translink said there had been 304 recorded incidents of pedestrian trespass in the last five months.

Whiteabbey, Finaghy, Dunmurry and Antrim are among the hotspot areas.

Mark Atkinson, head of civil engineering at Translink said, "There are obviously serious risks associated with trespassing on the rail network - life-changing injuries or even death.

"Our trains travel at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour and if a driver has to apply the emergency brakes, it will take two thirds of a mile for the train to stop. In other words, not even the fastest athlete on the planet could outrun a train.

"During holiday periods, incidents of pedestrian trespass on the rail network unfortunately often increase. The network can look like a handy shortcut or a good place to play, but the risks are just not worth it.

"Aside from the very obvious risks to life and wellbeing associated with trespass, every time we receive reports of pedestrians on the rail network, we have to apply a 'caution' or speed restriction of 5mph to trains operating in the area until we are assured that the area is clear. This results in delays to services and impacts our passengers.

"We work closely with PSNI neighbourhood policing teams around Northern Ireland throughout the year to identify and prosecute trespassers. We would appeal to parents, guardians and teachers to remind young people in their care to never use the tracks as a shortcut or a playground."

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