Trespassing on Finnish railways: Identification of problem sites and characteristics of trespassing behaviour

Anne Silla (Corresponding Author), Juha Luoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)



This study identified the sites of frequent trespassing on Finnish railways, investigated trespassing behaviour at selected sites, and explored opinions about preventive measures.

Materials and methods

The study consisted of qualitative and quantitative part. The qualitative part included a survey directed at engine drivers and trespassers interviews whereas the quantitative part was constituted by a more detailed analysis on trespasser behaviour and characteristics of trespassers of selected sites. First, sites with frequent trespassing were explored by a survey directed at engine drivers. In addition, the drivers were also asked for suggestions of potential preventive measures. Second, three locations were chosen for a more detailed investigation which included the counting of trespassers. Third, trespassers at these locations were interviewed.


The results of the survey directed at engine drivers revealed approximately 100 problematic sites. On average about 40 daily trespassers could be observed at selected research sites. The trespassers were typically adults and males. The answers from trespasser interviews showed that the main reason for trespassing is taking a short cut. Half of the respondents assessed that the trespassing is safe and 15% assumed that trespassing is legal. Furthermore, they indicated that the most effective measures to prevent trespassing is fencing the tracks or building an underpass. In fact, the engine drivers usually indicated the same measures.


In conclusion, various physical measures should be considered as effective and acceptable preventive measures. However, since many trespassers considered trespassing to be safe and assumed that trespassing is legal, it is worth considering information campaigns as an additional preventive measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Transport Research Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event87th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington, D.C. - Washington D.C., United States
Duration: 13 Jan 200817 Jan 2008


  • Railway
  • Safety
  • Trespassing
  • Survey
  • Observation
  • Interview


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