Two young girls had a ‘near miss’ with a train in what could have been a tragic incident in Lisburn last week.
It was one of three incidents of pedestrian trespass on the rail network last week, prompting Translink NI Railways to appeal to parents and teachers to remind young people to stay away from the railway tracks over the summer holidays.
The ‘near miss’ involved two young girls crossing the tracks in front of a train at Finaghy.
Ian Campbell, Head of Rail Operations, Translink said: “During school holidays, 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.”
Since the beginning of July this year there have been 79 incidents of pedestrian trespass on the railway network, ranging from groups of youths loitering at railway halts and bridges and young children running across tracks, to older passengers using tracks as short cuts.
Members of the NI Railways safety team have been working with PSNI neighbourhood policing teams around Northern Ireland during the past year, holding spot monitoring sessions to identify incidents of misuse at level crossings.
This exercise resulted in a 15 year old youth being prosecuted for ignoring the warning lights at the crossing and another person with a bicycle was fined £90 plus an additional £88 towards Translink’s legal costs.
Ian continued: “We’ve toured schools across Northern Ireland with our rail safety project for 11-15 year olds, iPredict. The project which uses performance, magic and digital media to predict the outcomes of an imaginary train journey is designed to delivery key rail safety messages, including not trespassing on tracks, to this important target audience.
“The message is simple - don’t ever use the tracks as a shortcut or a playground and never try to beat the barrier at level crossings.” For further information on iPredict safety programme, go to www.translink.co.uk/iPredict