Community urged to help keep people off rail bridge

08 January 2013 2:02PM

KiwiRail is urging Ngaruawahia residents to help keep their young people safe this summer and stop them jumping off the rail bridge over the Waikato river.

A group of people were seen yesterday on the bridge and KiwiRail  is  concerned the problem may escalate.

KiwiRail regional manager Stephen Collett  is calling on the local community to help  stop the practise.

“We see this problem surface every summer - and if it continues it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or killed.

“We are asking parents and community leaders to help us manage this problem.  We understand how appealing a swim in the river is in this hot weather.  However railway lines and bridges are out of bounds for a very good reason - they are dangerous. 

“Trains take a long time to stop and they cannot swerve.  And people need to remember that railway line is now very busy. Over the past two years KiwiRail had worked closely with the local police and council to address the problem," Mr Collett said.

“We have installed heavy duty fencing and surveillance cameras  and  the local police do a good job of monitoring the situation for us.  This has helped reduce issues over the past two years, but not stop it altogether.

“We need the community to actively ‘step up’ as well  and help us with this, before there is a tragedy."

KiwiRail also experienced similar issues in Huntly and fencing  and cameras had also been installed.

END

Media Contact: Jenni Austin, Senior Communications Advisor, 09 363 7303, 021 961 495