The Netherlands has 1.4 railway suicides for each million km of train journeys made in a year, topping the European railway suicide league, according to research by the European Railway Agency quoted in Wednesday’s Volkskrant.
In Germany there are 0.6 suicides for every million km traveled, and in Belgium 0.9.
In 2006 and 2007, some 190 people in the Netherlands killed themselves by jumping in front of trains. But last year, the figure was down to 164 – which is not included in the ERA figures.
A spokesman for the transport ministry put the Netherlands’ total down to the country’s small size. ‘You are always close to a railway track, and that attracts people who are suicidal,’ he told the paper. ‘In countries without so much track, people tend to jump from roofs.’
Dutch Rail has put considerable effort into reducing railway suicides by installing cameras and putting up more fences to keep people off the tracks.
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