Two people have been caught on camera using the middle of a railway line to carry out a fashion photoshoot.
The unbelievable pictures show a woman posing for photos on the tracks in Cilfrew.
While she steps about between the railway tracks, another person stands behind a photography lighting umbrella, to ensure they capture her in the best daylight available.
At one point she is even seen sat down in the middle of the railway line.
The photos have been shared by Network Rail as an example of the misuse of level crossings, as it, together with British Transport Police, urges cyclists and pedestrians to use them safely and not to loiter, no matter how scenic the location, after a recent increase in misuse.
It says people are risking serious injury or worse, and as well as the Cilfrew incident, there’s been more concern as a result of newly obtained camera footage captured at Trenos level crossing near Llanharan, where trains travel on the busy line between Cardiff and Swansea at speeds of up to 85mph.
Images show people wandering along the tracks and misusing level crossings by stopping to take ‘selfies’ or pictures of others on the live railway.
Watch this terrifying near miss at a level crossing in Carmarthenshire:
The Department for Transport recently reported that during lockdown, cycling in some parts of the UK had risen by up to 300% on some days.
This, combined with the usual spike in outdoor exercise during the summer months, makes it even more important for people to be aware of how to use level crossings safely, Network Rail say.
It has offered the following advice to people on how to negotiate level crossings safely…
- Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation.
- Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions.
- Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross.
- Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms).
- Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.
The worrying trend has seen British Transport Police record 221 incidents of trespass and 67 incidents of misuse at level crossings so far this year, although the actual number of occasions people have risked their lives is thought to be much higher.
Other hotspots for such behaviour include Skewen, Rhoose, Maesteg, Llanelli, Llanion and Dinas Powys.
Parents are being asked to ensure children are closely supervised when in the vicinity of the railway and that the signage informing a user to Stop, Look and Listen is observed.
Route level crossing manager at Network Rail, Ronnie Gallagher, said: “We have noticed a significant increase in use at public footpaths since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions.
“People have been walking longer distances and many will be using level crossings for the first time. It is important that you concentrate, follow the instructions and only cross when there are no trains approaching.”
British Transport Police embedded inspector, Beata Evans, added: “Each year, hundreds of people take risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries.
“We are continuing to proactively patrol the railway network across Wales.
“Safety is our number one priority and we’re reminding everyone of the importance of taking care around the railway.”