Woman risks life chasing train along rail viaduct

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A UNIVERSITY student on her way to an exam risked her own life as she chased a train over Burnley’s rail viaduct in a desperate bid to retrieve a dissertation and revision papers she had left on board.

The 34-year-old un-named woman had left the train to buy a ticket at Burnley Central Station after her bank card was declined by a conductor’s chip and pin machine.

As she was about to get back on the train it pulled out of Burnley Central so she gave chase along the line, forcing a train coming the other way to grind to a halt.

Railway staff eventually stopped her and called police. She was later quizzed on suspicion of trespassing on a railway line and issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice.

The incident took place at noon on Thursday after the student had boarded the Colne to Blackpool train at Nelson to go to Preston.

Lancashire Police confirmed the woman had tried to buy a £10 return ticket on board the train for the hour long journey but her bank card had been declined so she was advised by the conductor to get off at the next stop and buy a ticket from the kiosk.

Insp. Phil Hutchinson, from Lancashire Police, said: “She was on her way to university to sit an exam and some of her property was still on the train.

“It is absolutely one of the most dangerous things people can do. From our point of view, it not only puts yourself in danger, but my staff as well.

“We have a duty to protect people and make sure they are safe, but I have to deploy my officers onto the live tracks if someone gets on.

“People don’t often think about the additional consequences. If a train had hit her she could have been killed.’

A Northern Rail spokesman added: “We ask that all passengers boarding at a station that has an open ticket office or a ticket vending machine, to purchase tickets before getting on the train.

“This particular passenger made the decision to leave the train at Burnley Central to purchase a ticket after her card was declined on-board.

“We would like to remind passengers to take their belongings with them when they leave the train to reduce incidents such as this happening again.

“Not only did the woman’s actions cause delay but she also put own safety at risk by trespassing on the tracks.”

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “BTP officers were called to the line close to Burnley Central railway station after a report of a woman trespassing.

“The incident was reported to us at 12-11pm and was also attended by Lancashire Police.

“Officers subsequently spoke to the 34-year-old woman and issued her with a £50 fixed penalty notice for trespassing.”