Network Rail has issued an urgent warning that trespassing on the railway is illegal and can cause life-changing injuries or death.

It comes after newly released statistics revealed a worrying rise in people trespassing on Scotland's Railway.

The number of incidents rose by 11 per cent in 2023/24 compared with 2022/23, fatalities rose by 85%.

Figures also show that the number of trespass incidents spiked after the clocks went forward and the lighter nights begun during the month of April in both 2022 and 2023.

Innis Keith, health, safety and environment director, Network Rail Scotland, said: “The railway is an incredibly dangerous environment and those who trespass are breaking the law and risking their lives.

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“The impact of choosing to go on to the tracks can be devastating, not just for those who sadly end up with lifechanging injuries or worse, but for their families and railway staff who can be traumatised by these events.

“Added to that is the huge cost to passengers who miss important appointments, to businesses whose people can’t get to where they need to be, and to the emergency services who have to use vital resources on responding to these incidents.

“No-one wants to see people come to harm so we’re urging everyone to ensure they and their loved ones stay safe, stay off the tracks.”

Scotland’s Railway will target the country’s eight cities with a series of rail safety-focused radio adverts and a programme of activities designed to educate people about the dangers of trespassing.

This is in addition to the ongoing partnership with the Scottish FA, where 140,000 children and youths have already benefitted from safety workshops during football camps, with a further 3,600 workshops planned to take place before 2027.

Network Rail and British Transport Police run the You vs Train campaign, which aims to educate the public of the dangers present on the railway to deter them from trespassing and keep them safe from harm.