Trains delayed more than 30,000 minutes due to trespassers

PUBLISHED: 16:37 03 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:37 03 July 2018

Greater Anglia train at Woodbridge station on the East Suffolk Line Picture: PAUL GEATER

Greater Anglia train at Woodbridge station on the East Suffolk Line Picture: PAUL GEATER


Railway trespassers have caused nearly three weeks’ worth of delays on Greater Anglia trains in the past year, the rail company has said.

Figures show trains were delayed for more than 30,000 minutes over the past 12 months due to trespassers on or near the tracks – which is an increase of more than a third in three years.

Greater Anglia said trespass incidents can range from people ‘playing chicken’, someone walking beside the track, or vulnerable people – but anyone who is on the railway line without permission is risking their life.

According to the rail operator, it can take the length of 20 football pitches to stop an intercity train when it applies the emergency brake.

The figures revealed the delay in minutes for trains in 2017/18 was 30,162, compared with 27,766 in 2016/17, and 22,581 in 2015/16.

Parents are also being urged to keep a closer eye on their children during the upcoming school holidays, which is when a majority of trespass incidents occur.

Jay Thompson, Greater Anglia’s train service delivery director, said: “Safety is our priority on the railway.

“Stepping on to the tracks could result in life-changing injuries or death.

“We encourage people to be vigilant and take care when they are close to the railway. “Sometimes people do not realise they are trespassing – they may think they are taking a shortcut home, but in fact they are putting their safety at risk.

“This behaviour can also cause delays and cancellations to services.

“We work hard to run a punctual and reliable railway, and trespassers hinder this by being on near the line.”

Greater Anglia said Land Sheriffs and Rail Pastors also patrol parts of the network to help people with their journeys and prevent people from going on the tracks.

Rupert Lown, Network Rail’s director of safety for Anglia, said: “It may seem harmless to take a shortcut, or fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous.

“The dangers may not always be obvious and fast trains are often silent until they are so close that you will not get out of the way in time.

“Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks is just not worth the risk.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sudbury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sudbury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sudbury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

The woman tipped to temporarily take the reins at the region’s ambulance trust when the service’s chief executive steps down has a history of turning around a failing hospital.

The mother of missing Cockfield man Chas Thacker has made a heartfelt plea for help in searching for her son.

A Suffolk emotional and wellbeing charity is celebrating securing a suitable new home to help meet growing demand for its service.


A Suffolk singer is returning to her home county for a Christmas concert in aid of a children’s charity.

Show Job Lists

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Newsletter Sign Up

Sudbury Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24