Children risk lives on trains

THRILL-seeking children are risking their lives to take part in the latest dangerous and illegal craze of train surfing.

And as the school summer holidays begin police and rail bosses have issued a stark warning to these children, saying it is only a matter of time before someone is killed.

These pictures were taken on the train tracks close to a disused footbridge at the end of Elm Tree Street, Belle Vue and, according to local residents, this is one of a growing number of horrifying incidents.

Roy Ward, 54, said: "I have seen then climb onto the trains and then drop off as the train moves away.

"They just dare each other to do it.

"One day there will be a serious accident. One of them will fall and end up underneath the trains."

Train surfing has become a national and international trend in recent years.

It began in Germany in the 1980s and many clips of surfers in action are posted on the web.

The London Underground is running a campaign about the dangers of tube surfing.

MP Mary Creagh said: "This trend needs nipping in the bud before it escalates, before someone is killed.

"The pictures are shocking and very worrying.

"If I had not seen them I would not have believed it. I was horrified."

Mr Ward, of Elm Tree Street, said the mobs of kids were making it 'scary times' for people living in the area.

He added that local people felt unsafe and were uneasy about the youths playing on the railway tracks.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "These young people are lucky to escape with their lives."

A British Transport Police spokesman said: "It is not only their own lives they put at risk but also the lives of the passengers and rail staff on board the trains."

Mrs Creagh raised the issue of anti-social behaviour, including trainspotters urinating at the bridge, in parliament last month.

Since then Network Rail said more safety fencing would be put up and it was trying to bring forward the date for demolishing the bridge.

Anyone who sees any suspicious behaviour on or near the railway should contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040.