Before crossing rails at a train station, remember that it is completely illegal. This is the message that Network Rail is trying to get people to remember. This warning came after a woman was photographed crossing rail tracks in Berkshire. She literally ran across the tracks instead of using the footbridge that is provided. This is not only extremely dangerous, but Network Rail says that it is also illegal.
A picture of the woman was taken by Tony Hamilton-Hunt. He said that he got a picture of the woman as she was almost completely across. According to the picture that Hamilton-Hunt took, the woman was extremely well-dressed and was carrying some shopping bags. To make matters worse, this woman was in her 30s. It was not that she did not know any better; she simply did not want to take the time to walk to the footbridge to get across.
According to Hamilton-Hunt, a train went flying by just one minute after she crossed the tracks. If she had become stuck on the rails or trapped somehow, there would have been no time for anyone to get down there to help her.
After seeing the picture, Network Rail said that all people are required to use the footbridge at all times when trying to cross rails at stations. Also, it pointed out that crossing the rails without using the footbridge is considered trespassing. Any person who sees someone crossing the rails in this fashion should call the police, as they are breaking the law.
Network Rail also released a public statement over the weekend saying that it is always on the lookout for people trying to cross the tracks in this manner. It is considered trespassing, and it will call the British Transport Police if it sees anyone doing this. In the photographed case, there is a footbridge at Reading West. Thus, the woman in the picture could have crossed safely if she just had used the provided footbridge.
A spokesman for the British Transport Police said that this latest incident was not reported to them by Network Rail. However, they are now investigating the incident after seeing the picture. Unfortunately, the British Transport Police do not believe there is much they can do about it at this point.
If the police could make out the lady in the picture, she would be fined. The woman is lucky, however, because the picture was taken with a camera phone from far away. Thus, the quality is not good enough to determine who she is for sure. Police are asking for anyone with information on who this lady may be to come forward and help identify her. The British Transport Police did say that such investigations usually turn up empty. However, that will not stop them from trying to track down a lady who broke the law and put her own life at risk.