“Dozens of trains stopped or delayed as youths play in Standedge tunnels”
[from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 1st April 2016]
Police warning to parents after worrying incident
Dozens of trains were halted or delayed because youngsters were playing near a busy main line, it has been revealed.
Police are now warning parents to spread the danger message to their children after the “alarming” incident at Standedge Tunnel, Marsden.
They want youngsters to stay safe and to prevent a repeat of the costly process of stopping trains. Extra patrols are in the area.
Rail companies had to stop many services on the busy Huddersfield to Manchester Line while British Transport Police searched a network of tunnels alongside the railway.
Some 8 to 10 youths were seen trespassing in disused tunnels next to the railway line and a full stop had to be put on the line whilst officers searched the extensive tunnels which link to the railway line.
The tunnels are gated but youths gained access.
It meant “significant” delays to passengers as a result of the incident, with 17 trains cancelled, 30 part cancelled and 73 trains delayed as a result of the incident.
It happened on Good Friday but full details have just been released by British Transport Police, who are anxious to prevent a repeat.
A spokesman said:
“We’d like to remind youths – and their parents – about the dangers of the railway after this particularly alarming incident.
“We would like to warn those responsible of the illegal and potentially fatal consequences of trespassing on the railway.”
PC Keith Warner added:
“It is extremely worrying that children of school-age are putting themselves in grave danger by breaking into and trespassing in the tunnels. They seem to be oblivious to the risks that trespassing and messing about near the railway presents.
“The incident resulted in significant delays to passengers travelling through the area, which is a very busy line linking Huddersfield and Manchester, but my main concern is that young people are risking their lives in this way.
“Make sure your children are aware that the railway is an incredibly dangerous environment and remind them to stay away from the tunnels.
“Traditionally we do see an increase in these type of incidents during the school holidays, youths risking lives and damaging and delaying train services.
“The message is clear – we want children and young people to remain safe this Easter holiday and not risk their lives.
“No officer wants to have to inform parents that their child is never coming home because they were killed by playing on the railway.”
Police appealed to anyone with information about the incident or other railway trespasses to contact them on 0800 40 50 40 or by texting 61016.