Transport police are unable to investigate a trespassing incident on railway lines at Kirkcaldy because ScotRail’s CCTV system was rebooting at the time it happened.
It is the latest blow for the beleaguered company, which racked up more than £2.2 million in fines in the first half of this year for failing to reach performance targets.
There were a number of people waiting at the station at the time, including children.
A woman on the platform was heard telling a young boy: “Don’t copy that.”
Despite it happening just outside the station’s waiting areas, there is no footage of the incident.
Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker said the fact a trespassing incident at Kirkcaldy Railway Station could go unrecorded raised questions.
“Considering the current catchphrase at stations across the country is ‘see it, say it, sorted’, many passengers would be shocked to learn that ScotRail was unable to see anything at the time of a major incident,” said the Labour MSP.
ScotRail said CCTV coverage is in place at the station, but the system went down for about quarter of an hour around the time of the incident while computers were rebooting.
The CCTV blackout means it is virtually impossible to identify the man, who jumped down from platform two and crossed the tracks before telling travellers on platform one, “Aberdonian, needing the toilet”.
He then entered the station building and used the facilities, before crossing the tracks for a second time and leaving by the exit at platform two.
A spokesman for the British Transport Police confirmed officers would be taking no further action “unless further investigative opportunities come to light”.
Mrs Baker said: “The station is one of Fife’s busiest and commuters would expect the CCTV to be in operation at all times when it is open.
“Questions have to be asked as to why the CCTV was being rebooted and, considering ScotRail was aware it was happening, why was there no staff member present on the platform.”
ScotRail said the CCTV at the station had to be reset because of a technical fault and while that took place no footage could be recorded by the cameras.
The rail operator said the problem had been resolved and CCTV at the station was now fully operational.
A ScotRail spokesperson said: “Due to a technical fault, there was a short period of time where the cameras at the station were not recording.”
Local Labour MP Lesley Laird said: “Trespassing over rail tracks is utter folly but sadly, according to Network Rail, too many people are still risking their life carrying out shocking stunts just like that witnessed in Kirkcaldy.
“This man should never have been able to cross the lines a second time and ScotRail’s explanation for this incident begs the question, how many CCTV ‘technical faults’ are happening at Kirkcaldy?”
ScotRail was hit with fines totalling £2,241,837 between January and June for failings in areas including train cleanliness, toilets and litter at stations.