'Deeply disturbing' footage shows teens doing handstands on level crossing

29 November 2021, 11:31

By Megan Hinton

Network Rail has issued a serious public safety warning after teens were spotted filming themselves performing handstands on a level crossing.

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The "deeply disturbing" CCTV footage shows girls in Nottinghamshire setting up phones to capture videos and pictures whilst they performed several handstands on the train tracks.

Police said the acts were a "blatant disregard" for safety, warning the criminal offence could have resulted in "tragic consequences".

Other people were accused of "incredibly dangerous behaviour" at the Nature Reserve level crossing in Attenborough, including people taking selfies on the railway and laying down on the track.

The busy line often has trains traveling at speeds of 80mph, with Network Rail pleading that anyone using a level crossing follows the guidance and crosses quickly, without stopping.

Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “This behaviour at Nature Reserve level crossing is absolutely shocking.

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Two teenage girls were spotted doing hand stands on a train track
Two teenage girls were spotted doing hand stands on a train track. Picture: Network Rail

"The railway is not a photo opportunity and it is never safe to stop or hang around on the tracks.

"The two girls doing handstands are completely oblivious to the dangers they are putting themselves in. This incident could have ended in tragic consequences for them, as well as their friends and family.

"We’ve worked to improve safety at this crossing and will continue to do all we can to keep people safe, but we need the community to work with us."

A nine-day census revealed the Nottinghamshire crossing was used by the public more than 5,400 times.

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During that period 22 incidents of what the railway would classify as misuse occurred, 14 of which were people stopping to take photos.

A total of 366 "vulnerable" users were also observed, the majority were wearing headphones, potentially reducing their concentration and ability to hear approaching trains. 

Inspector Mark Clements, from British Transport Police, said: "The people in this footage are clearly showing a shocking and blatant disregard for their own safety and others.

"Trespass is a criminal offence and can result in tragic consequences or life-changing injuries.

"We regularly patrol this area and remind everyone of the importance of taking care around the railway and to not trespass."