Keeping communities safe

Keeping everyone safe around the railway, every day.

Britain’s railways are some of the safest in Europe. Network Rail believes that outstanding business performance and outstanding safety performance go hand-in-hand. Essential to this vision is a culture in which everyone working on the railway makes safety their number one priority every day.

We dedicate significant resource to keeping passengers, the workforce and communities safe, and work hard to maintain this leading position. The rapid growth of Great Britain’s rail network planned in coming years intensifies the safety risks and challenges. Currently, disruption to train services costs £33 million every year and service delays due to suicide attempts stand at around 5000 services each year. By helping communities to understand the importance of keeping safe and supporting vulnerable people, there is the potential to reduce the chance of these disruptions and delays to rail services, enabling Network Rail to provide passengers with the reliable and punctual service expected of a world-class railway. With unauthorised people on the rail network currently accounting for almost all of railway-induced fatalities – and suicides accounting for over two thirds – keeping communities safe remains at the heart of all expansion plans and ongoing management of railway infrastructure.

Why is keeping communities safe important to Network Rail?

As well as this, keeping communities safe helps Network Rail met the RSSB principles of ‘optimising the railway’ by enabling us to run an efficient and uninterrupted service.

What is Network Rail’s approach to keeping communities safe?

Network Rail’s community safety teams work to identify hotspots for trespassing so that action plans can be made with local train operating companies and the British Transport Police to address local issues. Crucial to such plans are engaging with local communities and educating them around how to stay safe near the railway. Alongside this, Network Rail promotes and delivers suicide prevention training in partnership with the Samaritans, enabling employees to identify and support vulnerable people around the railway.

Trespass

Trespassing on the railway can lead to death, serious injury, penalties, fines, and local and network-wide train delays. One of the primary ways Network Rail keeps communities safe is through safety campaigns aimed at people most vulnerable to trespass: teenagers and those in their early 20s. Reasons for trespass include: retrieving items or pets from the track, suicide, fair evasion, and antisocial behaviour including crime and vandalism.

Key contacts

For general enquiries please email sustainabledevelopment@networkrail.co.uk.

For suicide prevention enquiries, please email SuicidePreventionProgramme@networkrail.co.uk.

For Route trespass and safety enquiries, please contact:

Useful links

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