Public warned of cost of trespassing on the country's railway

​The number of trespass incidents spiked during April in both 2022 and 2023.​The number of trespass incidents spiked during April in both 2022 and 2023.
​The number of trespass incidents spiked during April in both 2022 and 2023.
Trespassing on the railway is illegal and can cause life-changing injuries or death – that is the urgent warning from Network Rail after newly released statistics revealed a worrying rise in people trespassing on the Scotland's Railway.

Railway trespassing continues to be a huge problem, with the number of incidents rising by 11 per cent and fatalities by 85% in 2023/24 compared with 2022/23.

Figures also show that the number of trespass incidents spiked after the clocks went forward and the lighter nights began during the month of April in both 2022 and 2023.

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With the start of British Summer Time, people are being reminded that:-

Trains can travel at speeds up to 125mph. If the brakes are applied, it can take the length of 20 football pitches for a train to come to a complete stop.

The electricity used to power the railway – 25,000 volts in the overhead cables and 750 volts in the third rail – is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You don’t have to touch the electricity sources on the railway to be at risk of harm. Electricity can jump and arc.

Innis Keith, Network Rail Scotland health, safety and environment director, said: “The impact of choosing to go on to the tracks can be devastating, not just for those who sadly end up with life-changing injuries or worse, but for their families and railway staff who can be traumatised by these events.

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“Added to that is the huge cost to passengers who miss important appointments, to businesses whose people can’t get to where they need to be, and to the emergency services who have to use vital resources on responding to these incidents. No-one wants to see people come to harm so we’re urging everyone to ensure they and their loved ones stay safe, stay off the tracks.”

Scotland’s Railways is targeting the country’s cities with radio adverts and a programme of activities designed to educate people about the dangers of trespassing. Network Rail and British Transport Police also run the You vs Train campaign, to educate the public, deter them from trespassing and keep them safe from harm. Further details at 

Materials suitable for teaching younger children about rail safety in an age-appropriate way can be found on the Switched On website: Home - Switched On! (

This is in addition to the ongoing partnership with the Scottish FA, where 140,000 children and youths have already benefitted from safety workshops during football camps, with a further 3600 workshops planned to take place before 2027.