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Deaths on the railways reach all-time high

The number of deaths on the railways reached an all-time high of 332 last year, despite a record-breaking eighth consecutive year without a fatal train accident, according to safety figures.

Credit: PA Wire

In the last 12 months, there were 293 suspected suicides and 22 fatal injuries caused by trespassing on main lines, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) said, a rise from the 300 similar fatalities between 2013 and 2014.

In addition, 10 members of the public, including two vehicle drivers, also died in accidents at level crossings, and a further four died at stations, while two workers were also fatally injured in road traffic accidents, and another in an incident at a train depot.

RSSB's director of system safety, George Bearfield, said the rail industry took the issue of suicide "very seriously" and stressed the support from the Samaritans in tackling railway suicides.

"Local Samaritans branches also work with station managers, station staff from both train operating companies and Network Rail and the British Transport Police, in prevention and post-incident support work.".