PARENTS are being urged to teach their children about the dangers of the railway ahead of the summer holidays after a number of incidents on the tracks in Scotland.

In 2021/22 there were 1,969 trespass incidents recorded in Scotland compared with 1,632 the previous year. British Transport Police (BTP) has also dealt with 778 incidents of vandalism compared with 635 incidents during the same period 12 months earlier.

The incidents of vandalism included stone throwing, damage to shelters, fire extinguishers being let off and graffiti.

Officers continue to patrol the network to help tackle the issue and have been engaging with schools across the country to raise awareness of the dangers of the railway.

BTP inspector, Michael Magee, said: “The railway is not a playground. Every time someone steps onto the track they are putting themselves at risk of serious, life-changing injury.

“We tend to see a spike in cases of juvenile-related trespass and anti-social behaviour during the school holidays. This summer we are urging parents and carers to have that conversation with their children to ensure they are aware of the dangers of the railway.

"Safety is our top priority and we’re asking that we all speak to our loved ones to prevent further damage or serious injury.”

Trespassing in Scotland is illegal, and anyone caught could face a fine of up to £1,000 and be left with a criminal record.

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail route director for Scotland, said: “Trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous - trains take a long time to stop and anyone struck by one will suffer serious injury or worse.

“The railway is also full of hidden dangers – like overhead power lines which can carry up to 25,000 volts and kill instantly.

“We are working closely with the British Transport Police, and other partners, to raise awareness of the dangers of trespass and would urge the public to keep off the tracks.”

More information on rail safety can be found at