Every 35 hours, a suicide occurs on the railway. Although railway suicides only account for around 4 – 5% of all suicides in Great Britain, the emotional, human and financial costs are disproportionately high. Whilst the total number may appear small, they have a massive impact on our industry.
The rail industry has a part to play in preventing suicides on the network and in the wider community. The most effective ways are through the promotion of help seeking behaviour amongst the vulnerable and intervening in suicide attempts.
In 2020/21 there were 247 suspected suicides. The average whole industry cost of one suicide is in the region of approximately £275,000 and in 2020/21, 357,888 delay minutes were attributed to suicide events on the network which equates to c.£35m in costs to the rail industry which will not be reinvested into the railway.