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‘Train-surfers’ captured on CCTV at Kingussie

Youths are seen holding onto a moving train on the platform of Kingussie station

Youths are seen holding onto a moving train on the platform of Kingussie station

  • by ALASTAIR DALTON
 

YOUTHS on bikes have been caught on CCTV “train surfing” at Kingussie station - being pulled along platform as train departs.

British Transport Police (BTP) said the teenagers were putting themselves in “real danger” with the stunts at the Highland station on the Perth-Inverness line.

The force said “concerning” CCTV, taken around 7:30pm on 8 January, showed two youths on bikes grabbing hold of a train and being pulled along the platform.

BTP Constable Matt O’Neill said: “Although this is a rare occurrence, it is an incredibly dangerous practice.

“I cannot underestimate how foolish it is to mess about around trains and stations.

“As well as potentially delaying trains, you could be seriously injured.

“I am appealing for anyone who has any knowledge of those involved to contact me as soon as possible and I would urge parents to know where your children are and ask them to re-iterate how silly this sort of behaviour is.”

BTP said patrols in the area had been stepped up and the local school will be visited by its officers to warn pupils of the dangers of ‘train surfing’.

Previous train surfing incidents include youths clinging to the side or rear of trains as they left stations around Glasgow in 1999.

In one incident, Jonathan Barbour, 13, had to have his face rebuilt and eye sockets repaired to save his sight after he fell from a train on the south side of Glasgow.

Surgeons said he had only survived because he had fallen forwards rather than backwards, his jaw acting as a “crumple zone”.

He underwent plastic surgery and skin grafts, and had several steel plates inserted into his face.

The teenager had been clinging to a suburban train between Burnside and Croftfoot, which reached 50mph.

He panicked when spotted by a railway worker as the train slowed on its approach to Croftfoot station.

The train surfer lost his grip on the carriage and fell forward on to the track, with his face taking the full impact.

Another case involved a nine-year-old boy who suffered serious knee injuries when he was dragged along the platform by a train that he was attempting to cling to at Yoker station, near Clydebank.

The craze is thought to have originated in South America sometime in the 1970s, when thrill seekers climbed on to the roofs of trains and “surfed”. Up to 200 people were killed a month.

Many previous Scottish cases have been in Strathclyde, partly because of the network of low-speed commuter routes around Glasgow.

However, many such lines have overhead electric wires so “surfers” have held on to the sides of trains or clung on at the back.

There have been several deaths in England, while a teenage boy had to have both his legs amputated in 2004 after he fell from a freight train near a station in Cheshire.

A spokesman for East Coast, whose London-Inverness train was involved in the incident, said: “This action captured on the station’s closed circuit TV cameras is highly dangerous, and could lead to serious injury.

“We fully support the transport police in their investigations into this and urge anyone who knows who these youths are to come forward.”

 

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