Investigation into Slateford rush hour rail death

Slateford Station near where a man's body was found by the track. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Slateford Station near where a man's body was found by the track. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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AN investigation is under way after a man was found dead after apparently taking a shortcut next to a rail line near Haymarket Station.

His body was discovered at the side of the track in Slateford during rush hour, yesterday sparking long delays for rail commuters.

It is thought the man, whose death is not being treated as suspicious, may have been electrocuted after coming into contact with overhead pylons while trying to climb a fence.

The line between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central was closed yesterday morning while investigations were ­carried out.

It is understood a train driver raised the alarm after spotting the body next to the track.

A British Transport Police statement said: “Our officers were called to the line near Haymarket station at 8.45am on Tuesday after reports of a man’s body.

“Colleagues from Scottish Ambulance Service also attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We are now working to formally identify the deceased and will subsequently inform his family.

“The incident is not currently being treated as suspicious and a full report has been submitted to the local procurator fiscal.”

ScotRail said services on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Central line, via Shotts, were disrupted for around two hours.Commuters from Glasgow Central to Edinburgh were able to travel on alternative routes from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh via Falkirk High and Airdrie.Passengers travelling to or from Livingston South station were able to use Livingston North as an alternative.

James Scott, treasurer with Longstone community council, which covers the Slateford/Longstone area, said: “This is tragic but it’s impossible to stop someone going over the fence and on to the line if that’s what they want to do.

“There’s a level crossing at Kingsknowe Road North and the community council have been asking Network Rail to have a full barrier put in place there to replace the existing half-barrier. There’s been a few suicides at the crossing over the years. A full barrier won’t stop someone if they are determined to get over, but it might offer some kind of deterrence.

“There’s also been the problem of people going on to the line to graffiti rail buildings and bridges.”

Residents in Duff Street, which backs on to the railway line, told of their shock following the incident and said they had no idea why a grown man would be trying to cross the wall, or walking along it.

Sharon Perry, 42, said: “I thought something must have happened to one of the kids as they sometimes climb the wall to get their balls back when they’re playing football out the back. We’ve had a letter from the Housing Association warning people about the wall as kids were climbing it.”