Student, 34, who missed her train chased it for a MILE along the tracks and across a viaductStudent got on tracks and chased train for a mile after it left without her34-year-old Lancashire woman stopped train coming in opposite directionShe ran across a viaduct after the train while making her way to an exam
11:24 GMT, 14 December 2012
A desperate university student on her way to an exam risked her own life and sparked chaos on a railway line when her train set off without her and she sprinted a mile down the track to catch it
The 34-year old Lancashire woman decided to get off and buy a ticket at a railway station kiosk after her bank card was declined by a conductor's chip and pin machine.
But as she was about to get back on the train it pulled out of Burnley Central in Lancashire – and she realised she had left her dissertation and other revision papers on board.
Risky business: The unnamed woman chaed the train for a mile along these tracks after her train left Burnley Central station without her
As the train set off, the unnamed woman panicked, leapt off the platform and ran onto the line after the train in the hope of catching up with it at the next stop Burnley Barracks.
But her amazing chase along the track and across the 15-arch 1848 Burnley viaduct caused chaos on the line forcing another train coming the other way to grind a halt.
Ralway staff eventually stopped her and called police. She was later quizzed on suspicion of trespassing on a railway line and issued with a 50 fixed penalty notice.
The incident caused disruption on the Northern Rail service between Colne and Blackpool and trains were stopped for around ten minutes
The incident took place at noon yesterday after the student had boarded the Colne to Blackpool train at Nelson to go to Preston where it was believed she was studying in the city.
Lancashire Police confirmed the woman had tried to buy a 10 return ticket on board the train for the hour long journey but her bank card had been declined so she was advised by the conductor to get off at the next stop and buy a ticket from the kiosk.
Disruption: The woman was issued with a 50 fixed penalty notice for trespassing following the incident which caused a train travelling in the other direction to stop
Inspector Phil Hutchinson, from Lancashire Police, said: 'She was on her way to university to sit an exam and some of her property was still on the train.
'It is absolutely one of the most dangerous things people can do. From our point of view, it not only puts yourself in danger, but my staff as well.
'We have a duty to protect people and make sure they are safe, but I have to deploy my officers onto the live tracks if someone gets on.
Sprint: The railway viaduct the student ran across while she was chasing her train to get to an end of term exam
'People don't often think about the additional consequences. If a train had hit her she could have been killed.'
A Northern Rail spokesman said: 'We ask that all passengers boarding at a station that has an open ticket office or a ticket vending machine, to purchase tickets before getting on the train.
'This particular passenger made the decision to leave the train at Burnley Central to purchase a ticket after her card was declined on-board.
'We would like to remind passengers to take their belongings with them when they leave the train to reduce incidents such as this happening again.
'Not only did the woman's actions cause delay but she also put own safety at risk by trespassing on the tracks.'
Passenger Sharon Ellis, 27, from Nelson, said: 'I've been in a situation like that myself but I just buy a ticket on the train. I don't know what possessed her but I bet she feels a bit stupid now.'
Percy Lane, 68, from Colne, said: 'It's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. She could have got herself killed. It's ridiculous to cause such chaos.'
A British Transport Police spokesman said: 'BTP officers were called to the line close to Burnley Central railway station after a report of a woman trespassing.
'The incident was reported to us at 12.11pm and was also attended by Lancashire Police.
'Officers subsequently spoke to the 34-year-old woman and issued her with a 50 fixed penalty notice for trespassing.'