Transport Police highlight track dangers

British Transport Police (BTP) is calling on parents and children to remember the dangers of straying onto railway tracks after two separate incidents in Derbyshire earlier this month.

Officers are investigating how debris was placed on the Leeds to Nottingham railway line on successive Mondays. In both cases, a number of drivers spotted children near the line.

During the early evening of Monday 2 June, the driver of the 6.05pm Leeds to Nottingham service saw two very young boys and a very young girl close to the track near the disused Bennerley Viaduct at Cotmanhay, near Ilkeston. Shortly afterwards, the train hit a large piece of ballast. Two other drivers reported ballast on the line that evening, and more children were seen on a nearby footbridge.

Around 6pm on Monday 9 June, also close to the Bennerley Viaduct, a Norwich to Liverpool service struck a piece of concrete on the line. Fortunately, there were no injuries to passengers or train crew, but the driver saw some children in a field alongside the track.

Sgt Mark Rushin said: “These two incidents happened in very similar locations, just a week apart, and may be connected.

“The railway is a dangerous place for trespassers. Obstructions on the track can have very serious consequences, as well as cause long delays to services.

“I want youngsters to understand the seriousness of trespassing on railway tracks, and parents or responsible adults to emphasise the dangers to them.”

Anyone with information on the Cotmanhay incidents is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040, or text 61016, quoting reference MSUB/B9 of 27/6/2014. Information can also be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.