U of M encourages students against 'train hopping' on campus

U of M students brave the dangers of 'train hopping' for class
(SOURCE: The Daily Helmsman)
(SOURCE: The Daily Helmsman)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A picture sent by the University of Memphis is intended not to get the students in trouble, but to make the entire campus safer. It all is centered around the illegal activity happening with students and trains.

"We were standing here. The train had come to a stop. They decided to hop between. As soon as they got over, the train started moving," said Cordell Lofton, student. "Luckily, they got across just in time."

It's called train hopping and it's a very dangerous activity happening on the campus of the University of Memphis.

U of M police sent a photo to students and employees showing three people who appear to be students climbing over a train that had stalled on the tracks on Southern Avenue. The people have been censored in the photo in order to focus on the issue at hand, not to punish them.

Campus police warn it is not only dangerous, but illegal.

For some students, they are all too familiar with the dangers associated with this kind of activity.

"In high school, one of my friends, a guy tried to train hop. He lost his leg," said Kevin Howard.

The train tracks cut right through campus and students run right in front of the trains, sometimes just barely beating the train. Students say they are taking their life in their hands, simply because they don't want to be late for class.

"Train's coming, you miss class. It kind of sucks."

Many students go out of their way to cross in the designated crossing areas, but others cross the tracks in areas outside the paved crossing, despite the warning signs.

Soon, students will have a new bridge to cross over the train tracks on Southern. The work is expected to begin this week.

A fence will also go up, making it more difficult to cross the tracks at the wrong points. That work is expected to be finished some time in the fall.

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