Three shocking incidents on Fife’s railways in the space of just a few days last month could have had catastrophic consequences, British Transport Police have revealed.
Officers have issued urgent safety advice on the back of two cases in Dunfermline and one near Springfield that involved people trespassing or objects placed on the line and could have led to disaster.
Thankfully, none of the three reported incidents resulted in any injuries, but British Transport Police chiefs are reminding members of the public of their responsibilities when it comes to their safety and the safety of those aboard the country’s trains.
The first occurred on Monday March 25 at around 12.30pm close to Dunfermline Town station where offenders had trespassed and dropped wood and pieces of slab on the railway track.
Three trains are then said to have travelled over these objects, although no injuries were reported.
Then, just a few hours later at 4.50pm, officers received a further report of a wheelbarrow striking a train on the line close to Dunfermline.
Again, there was no damage to the train or injuries to passengers.
However, a third incident was reported on March 27 at around 9am, when the driver of an Inverness to Edinburgh service reported a near-miss with a dog walker at a level crossing near Springfield.
The man was said to be talking on his mobile phone and absent-mindedly walked across the level crossing in front of the moving train.
Sergeant Derek Elder, from the British Transport Police, said: “These are all very dangerous incidents and I am thankful there weren’t more serious consequences.
“Trespassing in itself can pose grave danger to the reckless individuals involved. Railway lines are operational 24 hours a day and trespassing at any time of day can easily prove fatal.
“Throwing objects onto the tracks also puts both passengers and staff at significant risk, not to mention the thousands it can cost in repairs to trains and railway infrastructure.
“Likewise, not taking due care and attention at level crossings is of serious concern, and this man was lucky he wasn’t injured, or even worse killed.”
Officers say they are currently investigating both incidents in Dunfermline and are keen to stress the serious dangers of interfering with the railways.