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Dangerous Train Surfing Can Lead To Electrocution

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Melbourne is facing a troubling train surfing epidemic, with the number of cases more than doubling in the past two years.

In the past four months, 87 people have been busted for train surfing, while so far in January a person a day has thumbed their noses at the $293 fine, the Herald Sun reported.

Metro spokesman Chris Whitefield confirmed the train operator continued to battle the “dangerous and stupid” trend, with 20 caught either train surfing, or trying to climb on to the outside of trains in January alone.

More incidents are believed to go unreported, but perpetrators often share their exploits on social networks or leave graffiti tags as a notorious reminder.

Two years ago, former trains operator Connex said it was concerned when train surfing reports jumped from just three to nine per month.

In response, Connex began targeting schools, sending staff to warn students of the danger, particularly along the Frankston, Lilydale and Pakenham lines, which were the most frequently surfed.

While the latest alarming statistics more than double the rate of those reports, Metro said the higher rates could reflect previously unreported people being nabbed.

And while no one had died surfing trains recently, Mr Whitefield said, “That doesn’t change the fact that it is extremely dangerous.”

In 2008, a train surfer’s body was found on the roof of a carriage at Flinders St station, after apparently being electrocuted somewhere between Werribee and Newport.

Many more would-be train surfers are believed to have been injured.

In September last year, police released shocking footage of a pair of train surfers spotted riding the rails on an Eltham-bound train, between Jolimont and Clifton Hill.

“Attempting to ride on the outside of a moving train is both dangerous and stupid, and it can undermine the safety of the network,” Mr Whitefield said.

He said in most cases, train surfers rode on the rear of a train as it sped through the city network.

Metro was relying on the work of staff and public reports to catch perpetrators, he said.

“It’s something we’re working to stamp out, to prevent people doing it.”

Story via HeraldSun.com.au