Belfast Telegraph

Shocking images show how Ulster people dice with death at level crossings

By Patricia Devlin

The astonishing images show pedestrians recklessly trespassing on level crossings across Northern Ireland

In June a woman was caught falling into the path of an oncoming train in the Co Antrim seaside town of Whitehead.

It happened after she tried to make a last minute attempt to cross the track.

In another heart stopping clip captured in Jordanstown in Co Antrim, two students can be seen darting across a track in the winter darkness.

But as one climbs the barrier to safety, the other drops his bag which spills books and paper across the line.

Attempts to scoop up the belongings fail and he scrambles to safety with just seconds to spare before a train speeds past.

In February last year four women were caught dashing across a level crossing in Moira as a speeding train approached.

Despite each hauling heavy luggage, the young women throw themselves over a pedestrian barrier and struggle to lift their baggage.

Other jaw dropping clips include a young cyclist missing a train by seconds in Dunmurry and a man jumping over a vehicle barrier so hard — he almost knocks it out of place as shocked onlookers watch on.

And according to NI Railways these close calls are not isolated incidents.

Since the start of June this year a total of 96 pedestrians — including many schoolkids — have been recorded walking across train lines in the province.

Translink NI communications manager Lynda Shannon explained: “When you take into consideration that the fastest man in the world at last summer’s Olympics, Usain Bolt, can cover just over 10 metres per second, while one of our trains travelling at 90 miles per hour covers 40 metres per second, it’s clear that when it comes to man

versus train, there’s no contest! Sometimes people don’t think about what they could be up against if a train came along at the wrong minute.”

Lynda added: “We changed our timetable at the beginning of January this year to increase the number of services we operate and reopened the Coleraine-Londonderry line in March, so there are up to 60 services more per week operating on our network than there were this time last year.”

Other incidents reported include a member of the public being close to tracks in Whitehead, a group of five youths being spotted under a bridge at Finaghy and a trespasser being removed from the line at Greenisland.

Lynda added: “The impacts of trespassing range from delays to services on the line where a trespasser has been reported, which can severely impact passengers, through to the risk of serious injury or death.

“Our trains have CCTV both inside and out and there are cameras located in several areas around the network which clearly captures footage of trespassers.

“If prosecuted, trespassers risk being fined if convicted at court,” she said.

 

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