Preventing railway suicides

Suicide prevention is often seen as being reactive response following an incident or series events, however where possible we also seek to be proactive in our approach.

We provide a wide range of proactive and reactive measures, not all of which will be appropriate or necessary at all locations, and measures will be selected that each location and proportionate to the risk identified by local experts.

The following types of responses and mitigation measures are currently used across the network for the purpose of preventing suicide and reducing trauma.

  • Support and guidance documentation for the rail industry
  • Specialised teams in Network Rail, British Transport Police and Samaritans who work in partnership to reduce suicide on the railways
  • Commissioned research projects
  • Anthropologists/ethnographistsdeployed to locations
  • Sharing of learning and programme materials both home and abroad
  • Working with local authorities

Proactive measures

  • Suicide prevention training for rail industry staff
  • Presence of Samaritans campaign material crisis signs in stations
  • Commissioning research to better understand the context of rail suicides
  • Improved lighting and line of sight in stations

Reactive measures

  • Raising awareness of suicide prevention support in the local community
  • Restricting access to the running lines
  • Security patrols on platforms
  • Deploying anthropologists and ethnographists to gain a wider understanding of the local community

Supporting you

Whatever you’re facing, Samaritans are there to listen – day or night. Call them free on 116 123, or visit
(*this number is FREE to call) samaritans