Travellers on stranded trains warned against trespassing on the tracks

Frustrated travellers tempted to self-evacuate from trains stranded by the severe weather conditions have been warned to stay put by the British Transport Police (BTP).

Officers posted a warning on Twitter urging passengers to stay on board where they were "far safer" after a number of occasions where people left trains that had ground to a halt in the icy conditions.

On Friday evening passengers stuck on a train near Lewisham station, south London, jumped onto the tracks, further disrupting Southeastern rail services.

Southeastern rail turned off power in the area for safety reasons and called for police support as it dealt with the "serious trespass incident".

The BTP statement said: "This week we have seen a number of incidents of people self-evacuating from trains stranded due to the exceptional weather.

"Whilst we totally understand it isn't pleasant being trapped on a train, you are far safer on board.

"Self-evacuating from trains is never a good idea as it places you and others at significant risk. You are risking your life trespassing on live tracks.

"Further delays are also inevitable if people self-evacuate as power has to be turned off for safety reasons."

Emergency workers at Lewisham station after passengers frustrated by delays jumped from trains and walked down tracks near the station (Victoria Jones/PA)
Emergency workers at Lewisham station after passengers frustrated by delays jumped from trains and walked down tracks near the station (Victoria Jones/PA)

BTP said it recognised that communication would help avoid passengers taking desperate measures, saying it was working to improve the delivery of information.

The snow and ice has caused significant disruption to rail services across the country, with many lines suspended during the worst of the icy blast.

On Thursday evening, passengers on a South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Weymouth were forced to endure a night without heating or electricity inside the carriages.

The train ground to a halt near Christchurch, Dorset, after the train track providing it with power froze, causing four other trains to stop behind it.

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