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Commuters urged to make small talk to help prevent railway suicides

  • Watch Serena Sandhu's report above

Rail passengers are being urged to strike up conversation beside railway tracks in an attempt to reduce suicides.

The campaign Small Talk Saves Lives is being supported by a Greater Anglia worker who's quick actions prevented a distressed man from taking his own life at a level crossing last year.

The hope from Samaritans who are part of the campaign is that it will start a wider conversation on how suicide is preventable.

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Disruption warning for rail users

Network Rail is warning of disruption on the West Coast Mainline this weekend, because of engineering work on much of the line.

Track renewal work at Weedon in Northamptonshire means trains will be diverted via Northampton. Network Rail says all of the work will mean either longer journeys or bus replacement services, and is advising passengers to check before they travel.

The work begins late on Friday evening, and will continue through until Tuesday morning.

"These upgrades will help to provide a more reliable railway which is essential as more people choose to travel by train. There is never a good time to carry out work of this nature but we have worked with the train operators to plan it to cause the least amount of disruption and make sure passengers can plan or make alternative arrangements. I apologise for any inconvenience caused."

– Martin Frobisher, Network Rail

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Health and safety breaches did not lead to level crossing death

The Motts Lane crossing at Witham, where Michal Majzner was killed. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

An investigation into an accident at a level crossing in Essex where a cyclist was killed has found no evidence that breaches in health and safety laws contributed to his death.

Michal Majzner, who was 30, died after being hit by a train at the Motts Lane crossing in Witham in January last year.

The report by the Office of Rail Regulation has backed Network Rail's plan to build a bridge at the site to remove any further risk to safety.

Still a "massive amount" to do on level-crossing safety, says mother

Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson who were killed on the level crossing at Elsenham in 2005.

Network Rail needs to do a "massive amount" to make level crossings safer, the parent of a teenager killed by a train has told MPs.

Tina Hughes, who now works with the firm on improving crossings, said Network Rail had made changes but were only "scratching the surface" of what needed to be done.

Ms Hughes's daughter Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and her friend Charlotte Thompson, 13, were hit by a train in 2005 as they crossed the tracks at Elsenham in Essex.

Ms Hughes, who works with Network Rail as its "level crossing user champion", told MPs: "I believe that they have made very significant changes but they are only just scratching the surface of the things that they need to do. There is a massive amount of work that needs to be done."

Olivia's father Chris Bazlinton, appearing alongside Ms Hughes in front of MPs on the Transport Select Committee, said he believed information about their deaths had been covered up in a "conspiracy of silence".

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