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Freshers’ week rail danger for Lincoln students

Freshers’ week is notorious for being a period of fun and frivolity, but students at the University of Lincoln need to exercise a degree more caution on level crossings.

Worrying CCTV footage released by Network Rail has highlighted how having a few too many drinks in the student union could have proven fatal for one young reveller.

Captured by cameras on Lincoln High Street, the young man can be seen ignoring level crossing alarms, jumping over the crossing barriers and staggering over live tracks. Seconds later, a freight train thunders past, as he leans casually on the barrier.


With 200 trains passing this crossing daily, it is vital that newcomers to the city understand that the busy junction is not something to be trifled with.

Network Rail, the British Transport Police and East Midlands Railway have joined forces to deliver a vital safety session for freshers as part of the University of Lincoln’s ‘staying safe on a night out’ week.

Students tried out bespoke virtual reality headsets and discovered the top tips for using a level crossing safely:

  • It’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation.
  • Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions.
  • Check both ways before crossing. If there’s a train coming, don’t cross.
  • Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms). Visit Level crossing safety – Network Rail for more information.

Elisha Allen, community safety manager for Network Rail, said “This behaviour is incredibly dangerous and deeply concerning. The individual involved recklessly risked their life to stumble just a few metres further forward.

“The level crossing on Lincoln High Street is a busy and active route across the railway, and it can present a real danger if not used correctly. People need to be well aware of the dangers, pay attention to the unmissable alarms, and remain incredibly vigilant when crossing the tracks, particularly while under the influence.”

Ricky Sweeney, chief inspector at the British Transport Police said: “The railway is no place to take a shortcut.

“Getting somewhere a little quicker is not worth the risk, and we have seen first-hand that this can lead to tragic consequences or life-changing injuries – both outcomes are avoidable. 

“There is simply no excuse for not following the safety procedures at level crossings. Trains travel at speeds of up to 125mph, sitting wider than the tracks they run on and often quieter than expected.”

Lucy Gallacher, emergency planning manager at East Midlands Railway, said: “This footage is deeply worrying. The person involved shows a reckless disregard for their own lives, as well as the safety of train passengers and railway staff.

“Ignoring warning signs and instructions at level crossing can have devastating repercussions, especially while under the influence, and we hope this footage provides an important reminder that people should always follow the rules and remain alert while crossing the tracks.”

Ricky Sweeney also reminded everyone of the importance of the public’s part in railway safety, saying: “The public continue to be our eyes and ears, and they can help us by reporting any concerns or incidents to us directly by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.”

Image/video credit: Network Rail

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