The Office of Rail and Road (ORR), Scotland’s Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal have all prosecuted Network Rail over a safety failure relating to the railway fencing near Musselburgh.
The company has been fined £135,000 for failing to maintain and improve the fencing.
A 13 year-old boy was left with serious injuries after entering the gap in the fence on the railway track near Queen Margaret University. He then climbed on the roof of a tank wagon on a freight train which had stopped at the railway signals and came close to the overhead electricity cable. He made contact with the 25,000 volt cable which caused an electric shock and serious burns.
Although there was evidence of trespass and graffiti in the area, the fence was considered substandard and poorly maintained. Unauthorised access to the railway line was in the view of the ORR ‘straightforward’.
HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser said: “Network Rail has done a lot of work to limit the number of trespass issues on the railway and raise awareness of the potential life-threatening dangers that can follow.
“But on this occasion it failed to maintain an adequate boundary to stop people getting onto the railway track and preventing an incident like this occurring.
“The railway is an extremely dangerous environment and I would urge parents to talk to their children about its hazards and remind them to stay away from the tracks.”