Video shows train seconds from hitting man chasing his dog onto railway tracks

Rail operators have released a shocking video of a man narrowly avoiding being hit by a train after chasing his dog onto the tracks.

The man was captured on CCTV chasing after his dog, who was not on a lead, at the Harlech Cliffs level crossing in north Wales on July 31.

Network Rail and Transport for Wales released the footage as a warning to tourists and locals to follow safety advice at crossings.

Just three weeks earlier, a similar near miss occurred at exactly the same crossing when a man who stepped onto the tracks to follow his dogs came within four seconds of being hit.

Two near misses occurred at the crossing in Harlech in the space of three weeks. Credit: Network Rail

“I saw two white things on the track, I thought they were sheep”, recalled driver Mike Leonard.

“Then I realised they were dogs and suddenly this elderly man with a walking stick came up from the beach and just stepped out in front of the train, too. The dogs weren’t on a lead and the man didn’t even look as he crossed.

"I was about four seconds away from hitting him."

Rail operators are urging visitors to coastal tourist destinations to pay attention when crossing the railway, keep dogs on leads, keep children close to them and adhere to all safety signs before stepping onto the track. 

Phil Caldwell, Network Rail’s level crossing manager for Harlech, said: “This truly is a beautiful area to visit, and very popular with tourists, but railways are very dangerous places.  

“There are around 300 different level crossings between Dovey Junction and Pwllheli alone - so everyone needs to stay vigilant and alert when near the railway.  

“Please let your memories be happy ones and not marred by the loss of your beloved pet or worse.”

Krista Sexton, head of operational risk at Network Rail Wales and Borders said: "Trains approach almost silently. If you’re distracted by a dog, headphones, mobile phone or anything else, you won’t notice a train approaching until it’s too late.

"Our advice is simple: Stop, look and listen before using a railway crossing and stay alert.”