A DRUNK festival reveller caused chaos on the railways after falling asleep beside the tracks.
Dale Colligan was spotted lying unconscious in the undergrowth by the driver of a train heading from Waverley to Dunblane.
The driver halted the train at the next signal and called the police, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.
The line was closed and services were cancelled for several hours while police and railway officials searched the trackside for a body. ScotRail was fined more than £25,000 for the cancelled trains.
Officers eventually found Colligan, 23, dressed in a pink short-sleeved top, lying next to the tracks between the Newbridge Viaduct and Chesterlaw Farm. He was in the undergrowth apparently sleeping off a hangover.
Alisdair Macleod, prosecuting, told the court: “Police officers on checking him found he was in a drunken state. He was unable to explain to police how or why he got on to the railway line. He was attended by paramedics and given the medical all-clear. He was then cautioned and charged and replied ‘I’m too skint to pay for it’.”
Colligan was unable to explain to police how or why he got on to the railway lineALISDAIR MACLEOD
Mr Macleod said the incident had caused widespread disruption of the rail network.
Five ScotRail services had to be cancelled completely and a further four part-cancelled, resulting in delays totalling 519 minutes being experienced by ScotRail. He added: “In terms of their contract this resulted in a fine of £25,950 to the company.
Labourer Colligan, 23, who lives in Cardross Crescent, Broxburn, pleaded guilty yesterday to trespassing on the railway line on Saturday, September 6 last year.
He was fined £150 and ordered to pay ScotRail £600 compensation at the rate of £50 a week.
Andy Aitken, defending, said his client admitted that his “foolish and reckless” behaviour had caused much upset and inconvenience to a lot of people.
He said: “He’d been at a music festival at Ingliston and consumed far too much alcohol.
“His friends had left him and he was drunk and disorientated and had no money.
“He made the foolish decision to make an effort to walk home to Broxburn.
“He doesn’t recall climbing over a fence but tripped and found himself tangled in undergrowth unable to move.
“He has no previous convictions and advises he’s never done anything as foolish as this before.”
Passing sentence, Sheriff Peter Hammond told Colligan: “This was an irresponsible way to carry on which has caused inconvenience to passengers and significant disruption to the rail network, and indeed financial loss to the company concerned.”
Colligan declined to comment as he left court.