Training, lights and fences to tackle the suicides on the track

An Abellio Greater Anglia train.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train. - Credit: Archant

New fences, lights and special training for staff have been introduced by the region's rail operator in a bid to tackle the increase in deaths on the tracks.

Chelmsford MP Simon Burns, who called a House of Commons debate about East Anglian rail services, highlighted the number of people taking their own lives on the railway, which he said had a devastating impact for the family and friends of those who killed themselves, but also an 'immeasurable impact on the rail network'.

He said everyone was united in trying to do all they could to reduce the tragic problem, which caused so much misery to so many people.

Network Rail said the number of suicides across the Abellio Greater Anglia network had been in the 30s last year and it had delayed trains for a total of 30,000 minutes, It said it was taking a number of measures to prevent deaths.

Abellio Greater Anglia also said it was working closely with the Samaritans, who were training station staff in suicide intervention and working with Network Rail to trial preventative measures such as mid-platform fencing, end-of-platform fencing, coloured lights to keep people back from the platform edge, additional platform staff and increased patrols by Network Rail to identify people at risk.

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'In addition, a Samaritans poster campaign is also being displayed at stations. We are also part of a national industry group which is working together to look at ways to prevent these tragic incidents on the railway,' a spokesman said.

Rail minister Clare Perry said the problems were having more and more of an effect.

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The Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day on 08457 909090 or 01603 611311. Email or text 07725 909090.

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