High-speed train surfers caught on video video


Two passengers decided to make their trip into the capital from Upper Hutt more life-threatening.

Police want to hear from two men who risked their lives hanging on to the back of a speeding commuter train in Upper Hutt.

Two men were filmed risking holding on the back of moving train outside  Manor Park station on Sunday afternoon.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Wayne Butson said such actions were mindless stupidity.

There was the risk of falling off or electrocution and it was hard for rail staff to deal with the consequences.

"If anything goes wrong then invariably it's [staff] who literally have to go back and look at the pieces that are left."

It was similar to someone jumping in front of a train, he said.

"People who take up careers driving trains do it because they like driving trains, not to sit as a powerless spectator in the demise of another human being."

Police central communications centre shift commander John Spence said they were astonished by "what can only be described as a crazy stunt".

"Falling off a train travelling at 90kmh would have led to serious if not fatal injuries."

He asked for anyone who recognised the boys to contact Hutt Valley police, who have a copy of the video.

The men were filmed by a passenger in a car driving alongside the train.

When the train arrived at Wingate, two stops down the line, they had disappeared. Police were searching for the pair and asked anyone who recognised the two people in the video to contact Hutt Valley police on (04) 560 2600.

The film was taken by Alexey Zhavoronkov, who was with his family on the road between Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt.

He thought the train could have been going as fast as 90kmh. The top speed of a Matangi is 110kmh.

He saw the pair close to Manor Park station, where the road and train tracks run close together.

"My wife, who was driving, saw them and said 'look at them, they're crazy'." he said.

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"We're originally from Russia and this kind of madness is more like normal there ... it was a shock to see people here doing it. It's really dangerous ... it was scary."

He told his 7-year-old son it was not cool and the pair could easily have ended up dead. 

KiwiRail condemned the actions and Metro general manager David Shepherd said he was astounded by the footage.

"Trespassing on the rail corridor is a huge problem and people who do this, whether it's being on the rail corridor or riding on the back of a train, run the risk of not only killing themselves but also traumatising the people who then have to deal with the consequences of their actions," he said.

"We will be doing everything we can to help police identify these two young men and strongly urge anybody considering trespassing on the rail corridor to think about the value of their life and how their families will feel if they are killed or injured."

KiwiRail zero harm manager Aaron Temperton said the train could easily have been going at 70 or 80kmh on that stretch of track .

"Every now and then we get idiots who do this kind of thing," he said. "It is hugely irresponsible. People can die and have died from things such as this. We cannot understand why they would put themselves in harm's way."

Anyone who rode a train in this way could be prosecuted for trespassing, he said.

TrackSAFE NZ Manager Megan Drayton said trains could be deceptively quiet.  

"People need to realise that the rail corridor is dangerous and the outcome of being struck by a train is usually fatal," she said. 

"The only legal place to cross a track is at a level crossing. Trespassers run the risk of a criminal conviction including the prospect a large fine. People need to seriously consider whether it is really worth it."

Last year there was reported 418 incidents of trespassing on the nationwide rail corridor compared with 288 in 2013.

 - Stuff


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