More support could be given to prevent people taking their own lives on the railways.

The number of suicides on the Thameslink rail line has fallen substantially this year.

But mental health charities and St Albans City and District Council have pledged to support rail industry organisations with their continuing efforts to tackle the problem.

Representatives from Network Rail, British Transport Police, Govia Thameslink Railway, the Samaritans and mental health charity, MIND, were among those who attended a meeting in St Albans this month.

So far this year, there has been only one suspected suicide on the Thameslink line which runs through the district compared to 13 for the same period in 2016.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, the council’s mental health champion said: “Every suicide on the railway system is a tragedy which impacts on the lives of many people.

“It was reassuring to hear from senior figures that effective and proactive partnership working has resulted in a heartening reduction in the number of suicides.

“We also heard about the contribution of The Samaritans who have played a major role in supporting the efforts of the rail industry. Our thanks go to all their volunteers for their selfless and dedicated work.”

Larry Heyman, Thameslink and Great Northern’s local development manager, said: “Around 5% of all suicides take place on the railway. 

“Appropriate intervention often prevents a human tragedy and can result in distressed people being referred to professionals who can open the door to the healthcare and support they so desperately need. Suicide is not a rail issue; it’s a societal issue.”