On track to danger
By JULIA ILES
TEN minutes is all that separated three teenage boys and a train.
At around 4.30pm on Saturday police discovered them taking turns to race a mini-motorbike on the North Coast railway line at South Grafton.
It forced railway staff to briefly stop the northbound Countrylink XPT scheduled to reach Grafton at 4.40pm.
Police said the teenage boys stupidly took turns to ride on the line about two kilometres from the Grafton Railway Station at South Grafton.
The XPT train was stopped for five minutes while police arrested the boys, two aged 16 and one 15.
The boys were taken to Grafton Police Station and fined $400 each. Their parents were called to the station, where the gravity of the incident was described by police.
Police said they were tipped off that boys were riding a bike on the track beside Heber Street near an industrial estate.
A resident of the area saw the boys on the line and fearing for their safety, rang the police.
Police said the boys rode the bike on the track for half-an-hour.
A police officer yesterday described the boys' behaviour as stupid, and said he believed they were thrill-seeking.
The officer said there was concern at rising illegal use of railway tracks and warned people to stay away from RailCorp land. Apart from risking personal injury, they would face hefty fines.
Last week The Daily Examiner reported that people were standing on railway tracks and throwing rocks to vandalise buildings in Grafton.