V/Line warns against 'reckless' behaviour as pedestrian escapes death on Bendigo train tracks

Footage of a man narrowly escaping the path of an Bendigo-bound train has the state’s regional rail operator urging pedestrians and motorists not to take risks on the tracks. 

The video, released by V/Line today, shows a man crossing the railway line at Riddells Creek. After unlocking the latch on the pedestrian safety gate, he waits for one train to pass before crossing.

But he then comes perilously close to being struck by an oncoming freight train, only avoiding a collision by seconds.   

V/Line chief executive officer James Pinder called the man’s actions “senseless and reckless”, saying he could have been killed. 

“Trains can come from either direction at any time of day and night,” Mr Pinder said. 

V/Line data shows there were more than 190 reported incidents involving trespassers, including both pedestrians and motorists, on the Bendigo corridor over the past 12 months to June this year.

Across the V/Line network, there were more than 900 reported trespasser incidents for the same period, which is down on the previous year when there were 1115 reported cases.

"While it’s pleasing to see a reduction in the number of trespasser incidents compared with the previous year this Rail Safety Week, we are pleading with people to avoid taking risks," he said.

"The railway is not a playground and at level crossings, please obey the signs and be patient because it's not worth risking your life."

Incidents had a significant impact on train drivers too, Mr Pinder said. 

V/Line urged anyone who spotted trespassers on its tracks to phone police.  

The video’s release coincides with Rail Safety Week, an Australia-wide initiative to improve education and awareness about railway level crossing and track safety.