WITH schools closed for the foreseeable future adults are being urged to remind children of the dangers posed by the railway.

According to British Transport Police and Network Rail, there is a rise in the number of trespass incidents every year ahead of the Easter school holidays, when clocks go forward at the end of March and the evenings get lighter.

Now, with an undefined absence from school and the knowledge that fewer passenger trains may be running, there could be an even greater temptation to stray onto the rail network.

British Transport Police Inspector Beata Evans explained:“We are continuing to proactively patrol the thousands of miles of railway network we police across Wales. Safety is our number one priority.

"We’re asking that we all speak to the young people in our lives and make them aware of the importance of rail safety, so that they understand that everyone loses when you step on the track.”

Each year, hundreds of people take risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries.

In 2019, 1,076 trespass incidents were recorded in Wales and 317 of these involved youths.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail route director, Wales and Borders, added: “The Easter holidays are the start of the peak for railway trespass and with schools now closed for an extended period, I am concerned that the railway will become the default play area for some younger people.

“Each year, we see hundreds of people taking risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries. Both these outcomes are very avoidable.

“I would strongly urge adults to talk to their children and younger relatives about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.”

British Transport Police and Network Rail run a hard-hitting safety campaign – You Vs Train, which highlights the devasting consequences of trespassing on the railway.

The rail network is never switched off. Electricity powers overhead cables 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The rail network does not go to sleep once the last passenger services have run. Freight trains run all through the night, and are expected to increase due to the reduced number of passenger trains.

Further information on rail safety can be found at youvstrain.co.uk.