Walking on rail lines at Clifton could be deadly

dangerous game: Police Transport Command officers are concerned about the numbers of people using the level crossing at Clifton to walk along the rail line. Picture: Robert Peet

dangerous game: Police Transport Command officers are concerned about the numbers of people using the level crossing at Clifton to walk along the rail line. Picture: Robert Peet

People are risking being hit by a train just to get a better view of the Sea Cliff Bridge.

The Police Transport Command (PTC)  has received regular reports of people entering the rail corridor at the level crossing at Clifton.

There is no boomgate at the crossing but there are warning lights and signage calling on people not to trespass.

Those who do trespass then walk north along the corridor and it is understood they do it to get a better view of the nearby Sea Cliff Bridge.

It’s a dangerous game as they walk on the track towards a bend in the line where southbound trains come out of a tunnel and may not see them until it is too late.

A train travelling along that line can take several hundred metres to stop after hitting the emergency brake.

Chief Inspector Craig James, who oversees the PTC activities in the Illawarra, said people were taking their life in their hands by walking on the rails at Clifton.

“It verges on stupidity that people are actually walking on the train track or the train line in that area, where trains are coming out of a tunnel and around a bend,” Insp James said.

“It’s hard to fathom that people would put themselves at that sort of risk.”

Insp James said it had been a problem for some time but there had been a recent spike in reports of people on the train line at Clifton.

“Train drivers either call it in or it comes from members of the community,” he said.

“There have been some concerned members of the community up there in Clifton and they ring us directly.”

During Rail Safety Week in August the message went out about the dangers of entering the rail corridor – and the fact it was illegal.

“The disappointing thing is since Rail Safety Week we were hoping people might have got the message and thought it’s too risky,” Insp James said.

It verges on stupidity that people are actually walking on the train track or the train line in that area. - Police Transport Command Inspector Craig James

“But it hasn’t really had an impact.”

So Insp James said the PTC need to take other measures.

“We have increased our patrols up there in that general area and we will enforce and have enforced infringements for people who want to commit an offence,” he said.

“It is an offence to enter the rail corridor and so we will enforce it.”

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