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Shocking campaign video highlights dangers of trespassing on the railway

A teenager from Birmingham is at the heart of a new campaign warning people of the dangers of trespassing on the railway.

Tom Hubbard suffered third degree burns to 57 per cent of his body when he was electrocuted by overhead power cables.

He had gone on to the tracks in Rugby, Warwickshire, to retrieve a football with his friends back in 2014. He then climbed on a freight train and was struck when the current arced between two cables.

25,000
The number of volts that hit Tom Hubbard

Tom is now scarred for life.

He said: “I woke up 11 days later in the burns unit at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital wrapped from head to toe in bandages, heavily medicated and unable to string a sentence together. I don’t think I knew what was real and what wasn’t.

"When the doctors and my Mum came to speak to me a few days later, the enormity of what had happened finally hit me. They explained how lucky I was to be alive, but it was going to be a long road to recovery."

He added: “Four years on I’m still affected by the events of that day and every time I look in the mirror I’m reminded by that one decision to go on the railway."

Tom Hubbard received more than 50 per cent burns when he was struck by 25,000 volts on a railway line. Credit: ITV News Central

Record numbers of teenagers and young people are now trespassing on the railway, with numbers peaking in the summer months.

Tom's story is now being used in a You vs. Train campaign which has been released by Network Rail and British Transport Police.

953
The number of people who trespassed on the lines in the Midlands in 2014/15
1,300
The number of people who trespassed on the lines in the Midlands in 2017/18

BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said: “We hope that by sharing Tom’s story, young people who might have previously considered trespassing on the railways will think twice.

“We want his story to be heard – the tracks are not a playground. They’re incredibly dangerous and, as Tom’s story shows, can easily result in serious injury or worse.

“We hope the campaign will help young people to understand the risks, and help them to make the right decision and stay away from railway lines. Equally, it will also help them understand that bad decisions don’t just affect them, but they will have a deep and lasting impact on their families and friends as well. This campaign is not just for our young people but also their friends and family.”