A CBC News viewer has captured shocking video of youngsters tempting fate, first by touching a moving freight train, then standing in front of another train as it barrels toward one of them.
The video was taken on a stretch of CN rail line near 16th Avenue Public School in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto.
The CBC viewer captured two pieces of video, taken moments apart. They show two children, who appear to be no older than 12, playing a dangerous game with passing CN freight trains.
In the first video, one youngster "plays chicken" with an approaching train, stepping off the tracks seconds before it passes at high speed.
In the second piece of video, two children — including one from the first video — touch a slow-moving train as it passes in the opposite direction on an adjacent track.
There is a well-worn shortcut that leads across that section of track. In researching this story, CBC cameras captured people of all ages using the shortcut which traverses the rail line at an illegal, uncontrolled crossing. A fence to keep pedestrians out has been cut open despite repeated attempts to fix it.
CN signs warning trespassers of a fine of up to $5,000 have failed to stop people from using the dangerous crossing.
"I know it’s not safe but it saves time," said one teen who admitted to CBC’s Nil Koksal that he uses the shortcut. The teen said the crossing saves him about 15 minutes.
CN says it patrols that section of tracks regularly and has repaired the fence many times, only to have it forced open after each repair.
Since February, two teenagers have died on railway tracks in the Toronto area.