Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Respect the railway

Posted in London, Media, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 11 January 2012

It’s always tragic whenever someone is killed “before their time”, and there’s no doubt that the railway, with big heavy trains going fast, and electricity at high voltage running either through a third rail or OHLE, is responsible for a fair sized proportion of such deaths. However, it is hard to feel a huge degree of sympathy when a person is killed who, for whatever reason, doesn’t pay the railway the respect needed to stay safe. On Sunday, following Chelsea’s home game against Portsmouth, a young couple who had been to the game were at Wimbledon when, for whatever reason, the young woman found herself on the track where she was hit by a South West Trains service from Waterloo to Exeter. According to news reports, the young woman, Charlene Pickering, had managed to drop her phone onto the track and had clambered down to retrieve it. There has been a suggestion that perhaps she had been having an argument, as I have seen written that CCTV had shown her ducking beneath the lip of the platform. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, that is no excuse to have clambered down from the safety of the platform onto the line. There is no indication that she was unable to control herself, as the woman from Barnsley was when she fell off the platform under a stationary train. So no matter what her reasoning was, she didn’t respect the railway. If you lose your phone and it gets run over by a train, sure it’s inconvenient, but you can always get another one. If there is a more sinister reason (and I’m not saying there is), then run for the exit – platforms are wide and frightened people are strong, fast and loud. But for heaven’s sake, don’t make this mistake, because it will cost you more than a mobile phone.

“Charlene Pickering killed trying to get phone from tracks”


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