Railway heroes save over 1,000 lives on Britain’s rail network in just a year

Credit: Network Rail

Railway staff, police officers and members of the public have saved over 1,100 people in 2015/16, having intervened in potential suicide attempts on Britain’s railway. That's according to figures released by Network Rail. 112 of these are in Network Rail’s Wessex region, which stretches from Waterloo to Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset. I

Stuart Kistruck, route managing director for Network Rail said, “Through our partnership with the Samaritans, Network Rail has trained more than 11,000 rail staff and British Transport Police officers on Samaritans courses, of which 859 were in our region. The training has equipped them with the skills and confidence to identify and approach vulnerable people on the railway and lead them to a safe place. To really make a difference we want to help get to the root of the problem. Suffering in silence can be fatal, which is why we’re supporting the National Suicide Prevention Alliance’s (NSPA) It's Okay to Talk campaign.”

Leaders from a number of organisations including the Department of Health, Samaritans and British Transport Police met at Network Rail’s London headquarters to discuss ways to drive down suicide rates further, progress to date and what could be done differently in future.

Network Rail’s chief executive Mark Carne said, “Any death on the railway is a tragedy which has a real emotional impact on the family and friends involved, and on our staff and customers. It’s a complex issue which the whole of society needs to work together to address. Men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide. A large proportion of my 36,000-strong workforce are men and I want them to know its ok to talk – we must break down the taboo of talking about suicide. If anyone feels like they need support, it’s ok to ask for help.”