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Watch: Terrifying moment duo flee train in tunnel after trespassing on railway line in Northern Ireland

Not even Usain Bolt could outrun a train, warns Translink after 304 incidents since April

Published 20/09/2016

This is the terrifying moment children dice with death with a train after trespassing on the railway tracks.

The footage has been released by Translink Northern Ireland Railways to warn people of the dangers of going anywhere near their trains or the tracks.

In the footage the train is seen approaching the tunnel at Downhill in Co Londonderry, with one person attempting to wave it down.

The train then enters the tunnel only for two young people to be seen fleeing for their lives, before desperately clinging to the wall for safety.

In recent months pedestrians have taken serious risks on the rail network with more than one incident a day between April and the end of August.

The railway operator has revealed areas such as Whiteabbey, Finaghy, Dunmurry and Antrim are among the most common for its trespassers.

Those recent incidents include a near miss involving a child near Jordanstown, youths playing chicken on the tracks at Meetinghouse Lane, Dunmurry and other young people using the tracks as a shortcut at Bleach Green.

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.

A man is seen trying to flag the train down.
A man is seen trying to flag the train down.
The young people run for their lives from the train.

"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 5 mph 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."

For more information on Translink’s safety activity go to

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