JUST 2.5 miles of fencing along rail lines was renewed in the past four years between Anniesland and Helensburgh, it can be revealed.

There are more than 26 miles of track across the network west of Glasgow but just a fraction has had improvements.

Renewed calls for more safety measures have been made in light of details obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) to Network Rail.

The death on the line near Kilpatrick station of 19-year-old Aaron Keenan, from Clydebank, prompted pleas from his devastated family for the public to stay away from the tracks - but for agencies to cut off access.

Now they have called for Network Rail to do far more after seeing the results of the FOI from the Post.

“I want Aaron’s death to mean something,” said his mum, Gillian Connelly. “I don’t want to lose him for nothing.

“It never gets easier. I don’t want anyone to ever forget him.”

She wants more anti-climb fencing, motion-activated cameras at key points on the line, and better education for young people.

Aaron was walking home along the line after attending a party and lay down next to the tracks. His family said, particularly when drunk, Aaron could sleep anywhere. He was struck by a train in the early hours of June 25, 2017.

Clydebank Post: Signs are posted to prevent access to the rail lines from station platformsSigns are posted to prevent access to the rail lines from station platforms

Had there been cameras, for example, police could have picked him up and brought him home, said Gillian.

She has been able to access the line where Aaron did and knows it is regularly used as a “shortcut” between stations.

“He was silly,” said Gillian. “I worried about him all the time - and one night, I didn’t. I don’t want to blame my boy or anyone else. But they’re just not doing enough.”

Network Rail said a “lineside review” was filled in after Aaron’s death in June 2017 but refused to reveal the details. They said it would endanger the health and safety of others.

They also said they could not reveal the specific locations of any gaps in line safety as that could lead to potential suicides.

Clydebank Post: Gillian has identified sections of fencing along the routes where she believes her son accessed the line before his deathGillian has identified sections of fencing along the routes where she believes her son accessed the line before his death

But in their release to the Post, Network Rail stated: “In terms of recommendations, the lineside review form records that in the view of the assessor there were no issues in need of immediate attention or rectification at the location.

“However, the assessor also noted that raising the boundary fence at a specific point could help to make it more challenging for members of the public to access the railway line near Dalmuir.”

But, they continued: “The lineside review form filled out following the fatality did not identify any issues in need of immediate action.

“The possibility of raising the boundary fence at a particular point was noted at the time of the review; however following more recent inspections our experts have concluded that the fencing at this location is suitable for its purpose.”

But Gillian pointed out Network Rail had contradicted themselves. They claimed they would not identify where Aaron accessed the line, but also that safety there was adequate.

“If it’s not a problem, who are they protecting? Themselves?” she asked. “All the money stopping trains, reimbursing passengers - how much does that cost everyone?

“If you had adequate anti-climb fencing and cameras in place, it would pay off eventually.”

Although total fatalities for trespassers have halved in the past decade, the number of suicides numbered 314 in 2019/20 across the UK.

Last year Network Rail said they were launching a new awareness-raising campaign to warn against trespassing on the railway.

But in terms of their actual work in the past few years, it was more limited.

The FOI said British Transport Police attended an event in September 2019 to provide rail safety advice to all P7 pupils. There were also sessions delivered by the Scottish Football Association in 2018, 2019 and 2020 on rail awareness with hundreds of young people through the Drumchapel United and Drumchapel Amateur clubs.

When Network Rail attended a national free youth festival in June 2019, they had just 172 young people go through a safety quiz at the stand.

Network Rail also cited social media campaigns and an article on the Young Scot website, an organisation they have partnered with for events and social media in the past two years.

Politicians across the rail network called for Network Rail to do more and backed Gillian’s call for safety to be taken more seriously.

Clydebank MSP Gil Paterson, who has worked with Gillian on rail safety issues, said: “Gillian should be commended for her sterling work solely for the purpose of alerting and protecting others from the dangers of trespassing onto or near rail lines.

“Gillian is a true champion and I continue to support her in her call that all that can be done, should be done by Network Rail to guard the rail lines and protect their network from being accessed.”

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie MSP said every step should be taken to ensure safety measures are to the highest standard.

She said: “There seem to be some inconsistencies in the safety measures that Network Rail are willing to install.

“Teaching children about rail safety from a young age, and continuing that education throughout their time at school, will go some way in reducing avoidable and accidental fatalities.

“Aaron Keenan’s mum is right – Aaron’s tragic death is an important wake up call to both the public and Network Rail and shows that you can never take rail safety too seriously. I hope to see Network Rail take urgent action to improve safety standards, both on our local lines and across Scotland.”

Maurice Corry, West Scotland MSP, said Aaron’s death was an “absolute tragedy” and his thoughts were with his family and friends.

He said: “I fully support the calls from Aaron’s mum that his death should herald major improvements in rail safety.

“It is extremely disappointing that Network Rail don’t appear to be wanting to fully upfront about the measures that are currently in place.

“They seem to be peddling two different arguments over not wanting to risk the lives of others yet saying measures in place in 2017 were adequate enough.

“They cannot have it both ways and must guarantee every measure will be put in place to avoid any future tragic situations occurring.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We work hard to prevent members of the public accessing railway lines and carefully review all incidents to check our infrastructure is of an appropriate standard.

“We review the design of stations – and other parts of our infrastructure – where incidents have occurred to make those locations less accessible for anyone considering making their way onto the line.

“We also work closely with the British Transport Police, schools and charities to identify areas where trespass is an issue and carry-out awareness-raising campaigns on the dangers present on the railway.”