An incident in which a 13-year-old boy suffered an electric shock when he climbed onto a stationary train has landed Network Rail with a £135,000 fine.
Following an Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation, Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has prosecuted the rail operator for failing to maintain and improve the railway fencing in East Lothian, Scotland.
On 19 August 2016 a group of teenagers entered the gap in the railway fence before the 13-year-old climbed onto the roof of a tank wagon on a freight train that was stopped at a set of signals.
He came close to the 25,000-volt overhead cable and received an electric shock that caused serious burns.
Though there was clear evidence of trespass and graffiti in the area, the fence provided by Network Rail was substandard and poorly maintained, such that unauthorised access to the railway was straightforward, the court was told.
‘Network Rail has done a lot of work to limit the number of trespass issues on the railway and raise awareness of the potential life-threatening dangers that can follow,’ said Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser, ‘but on this occasion it failed to maintain an adequate boundary to stop people getting onto the railway track and preventing an incident like this occurring.
‘The railway is an extremely dangerous environment and I would urge parents to talk to their children about its hazards and remind them to stay away from the tracks,’ he added.