British Transport Police in Cardiff have started a campaign to highlight the dangers of walking on railway lines following the death of a student, who was hit by a freight train when he tried to take a shortcut on a railway line after a night out.
The Cardiff University student died when a train collided with him in Adamsdown in January. In an intoxicated state, he was attempting to make his way home after a night out. Upon investigating this incident, police have learnt this activity is common practice amongst students in the city and has been for some time.
Police community support officers (PCSO) Joshua Hopkins and is leading a campaign to raise the awareness of rail safety and alcohol to prevent such tragic incidents from happening again.
He said: “We have discovered that using the railway as a route home is common practice for students after a night out. It is becoming more and more prevalent, a widespread problem.
“Not only is trespassing on railway lines a criminal offence, the biggest concern is obviously injury or potentially ending your life. Freight trains, for example, can go up to 60 mph. In two years or so, the tracks will also all be electrified.”
British Transport Police will be working closely with Alcohol Concern in the campaign. It will target students from Cardiff University initially but the intention is to expand it across the other universities in the city if it is received well.
A series of posters are being produced and will be distributed across Cardiff in April and British Transport Police are also looking at reinforcing the fencing across the railway lines in the city in the early stages of the campaign.