Public Transport Victoria forum hears call for more Maryborough train services
State Government Commits to Developing Rail Infrastructure for Victoria
Horsham residents to be quizzed about future use of dormant rail corridor land
No choppers here: Malcolm Turnbull takes the train to Geelong
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy backs Melbourne Airport rail link
Jail time for train threats to Vline Staff
Premier Daniel Andrews hears efforts to address Central Goldfields disadvantage, push for more Maryborough trains
The Inland Rail Link Melbourne to Brisbane a Similar Case as the RAA's Bendigo - Geelong Rail Link
North-West Rail Alliance urges more council support amid push for return of Mildura passenger rail
Grampians Rail Trail: Shire calls for community to step up and manage facility
TEEN train vandals are invading Melbourne’s underground rail tunnels in record numbers, delaying trains and risking their lives to post photographs of their exploits on social media.
The Herald Sun can reveal trespassers were caught on the tracks more than 1000 times in just seven months last year.
And the spike in “railway roulette” comes as authorities warn they are seeing tunnel explorers maimed and killed, and widespread delays resulting for commuters.
The self-described “tunnel rats” and “urban explorers” are mocking police efforts to crack down on their illegal behaviour as they seek to increase their online popularity.
One member of a crew of Melbourne tunnel rats — who would not be named — said he engaged in the dangerous activity because he enjoyed the rush and the challenge of “outsmarting the cops.”
One of the images proudly posted online by teenage thrillseekers in Melbourne’s City Loop rail tunnel.
“They (the police) are idiots, they don’t prioritise it and that’s why we keep beating them.”
DAREDEVIL GANG BOASTS OF DANGEROUS EXPLOITS ON BUILDINGS, TRAINS
PICTURE OF STUPIDITY: TRAIN SURFERS DEFY LAW
Rail authorities warn self-proclaimed “tunnel rats” are not just disrupting travel for thousands of commuters but risk their lives and limbs too.
A photo taken by ‘tunnel rats’ of a Metro train in the City Loop.
Metro spokeswoman Pauline O’Connor said increasing incidents of trespass were causing major delays across several lines on its Melbourne train network.
“When we are alerted to trespassers in the City Loop, we are unable to run services through the affected tunnels until the trespassers are removed,” she said.
“While there is no average time that services are disrupted, the duration of the delays depends on how quickly police can apprehend the trespassers.
“The delays can range from 15 minutes to an hour.
Another of the images posted online.
“When this happens, trains run direct to Flinders St station, disrupting the travel plans of potentially thousands of customers.
“There is never a safe time to be on the tracks or trespassing on the train network.”
But the teenagers continue to thumb their noses at the concerns of the authorities.
“Clearly, the cops didn’t get 99.9 on their ATAR,” one said in an internet posting.
A ‘tunnel rat’ in the City Loop.
The trespassers pick locks or use boltcutters to gain access to the City Loop tunnels, where they engage in their potentially fatal railway roulette.
They have even stolen driver cabin keys and Metro uniforms to sneak into forbidden areas below ground.
Victoria Police Transit Safety Division Inspector Darren Cooper said the consequences were often grim.
“We’ve seen deaths and horrific injuries as a result of this risky behaviour,” he said.
So-called ‘urban explorers’ post photos online to boost their social media status.
The tunnel trespassers are usually male, aged 15 to 20, and are cavalier about death or injury. The prospect of fines of up to $362 does little to deter the young offenders.
One of the trespassers is a 17-year-old year 12 student who had a friend end up in a wheelchair after falling while running from a train.
But, despite that, he insisted: “It would take me getting my legs or an arm chopped off to stop doing this.”
The terrified mother of one of the boys said she wanted harsher penalties for tunnel rats like her son, as she feared his “adrenalin addiction” might get him killed.
A train dashes through a tunnel.
“It breaks my heart. It’s frightening. I wait every night to hear from the police to tell me, ‘Your son has been hit by a train’,” the Caroline Springs mother said.
“I’m devastated by the fact that they are willing to give up their limbs for creativity.
“They have their whole lives ahead of them.
“What a waste. They get a slap across the wrist and a ‘Naughty boys, don’t do it again’, and then the cycle repeats.”
Figures from the Office of the National Railway Safety Regulator reveal 1166 incidents of trespassing on tracks in the seven months from June to December last year.
In June there were 141 reports of trespassers across Victoria, which jumped to 212 in December.
In the Metro network, incidents of trespassing on City Loop tracks reflected a similar number when compared with previous years — reaching a peak late last year.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.