Prevention of railway trespassing by automatic sound warning—A pilot study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, planning - safety/accidents


Sound warning, railway trespassing, observations


Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a sound warning system on the frequency of trespassing at 2 pilot test sites in Finland.

Methods: The effect of automatic prerecorded sound warning on the prevention of railway trespassing was evaluated based on observations at 2 test sites in Finland. At both sites an illegal footpath crossed the railway, and the average daily number of trespassers before implementation of the measures was about 18 at both sites.

Results: The results showed that trespassing was reduced at these sites by 18 and 44%, respectively. Because of the lack of proper control sites, it is possible that the real effects of the measure are somewhat smaller.

Conclusions: The current study concludes that automatic sound warning may be efficient and cost effective at locations where fencing is not a viable option. However, it is not likely to be a cost-effective panacea for all kinds of sites where trespassing occurs, especially in countries like Finland where trespassing is scattered along the railway network rather than concentrated to a limited number of sites.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.