THE number of deaths by suicide on the railways rose last year.

However, Samaritans and Network Rail have also said their partnership has saved lives.

The two organisations have announced that their partnership, which includes rail staff going on courses run by Samaritans, is being renewed for another five years.

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There were 278 suicides on the railways last year compared with 268 in 2012. The number in 2011 was 224 and in 2010, when the partnership began, it was 232.