Wellington train surfers risk death at 80kmh
Two teenagers filmed clinging to a speeding commuter train on the Hutt Valley line have been condemned as irresponsible and stupid.
The pair, who appeared to be teenage boys, are now sought by police after they were seen hanging off the back of a southbound Matangi carriage outside Manor Park station about 4pm on Sunday.
The top speed of a Matangi is 110kmh and the pair's stunt left those who saw it shocked.
A video was taken by Alexey Zhavoronkov, who was in a car travelling alongside the line as the train passed.
He saw the pair close to Manor Park, where the road and train tracks run close together before the line crosses the Hutt River.
"My wife saw them and said: 'Look at them, they're crazy'," he said.
"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."
The behaviour of the pair was condemned by police, KiwiRail and the rail union.
KiwiRail zero harm manager Aaron Temperton said the train could easily have been going at 70 or 80kmh.
"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.
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 Dominion Post