A growing number of young Finns are taking to railways tracks to pose for photos that they later upload on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. However, this latest fad has resulted in several near misses.
The railway network’s regional manager for eastern Finland, Seppo Mikkonen said authorities are aware of the craze and train conductors have been reporting young people loitering on tracks and posing for photos in several regions across Finland.
Mikkonen highlighted the danger of the practice, pointing out that there have been several incidences when children have just managed to clamber to safety, missing the oncoming train by a matter of metres. He said these kids are risking their lives, explaining that even though they can hear the train coming and the horn is sounded, it arrives in a matter of seconds.
He went on to say that children may think they can dodge an approaching train quite easily but it’s easy to lose your footing, recalling a girl in Varkaus who slipped on the tracks a couple of Christmases ago. He also said someone lying down on tracks will find it even more difficult to get out the way, and added that the electric wire pose another extreme threat.
Mikkonen revealed that transport authorities have launched an educational campaign on railway track safety. He said safety information will be handed out in areas where these incidents have occurred, and in schools near railway lines such as those in the Helsinki region and by the Kerava-Lahti line.