Motorist jailed for rush-hour drive on UK rail track

Man turned on to railway line at 7.30am when track is usually busy with commuter trains

An “idiotic” driver who decided to use a rail track as a road was caught after police found his mobile phone in the car he had abandoned.

Aaron O’Halloran drove along the track between Duddeston and Aston – one of the main rail commuter routes out Birmingham city centre, the UK’s second biggest city.

He turned on to the railway line on May 9 at 7.30am when the morning rush hour is starting and the line is usually busy with commuter trains.

O’Halloran was sentenced to 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to endangering people on the railway, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving a vehicle without insurance.

He was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £156 at Birmingham Crown Court.

It is not clear why O’Halloran, of Handsworth, Birmingham, took the rail route but Duddeston is a short distance from his home.

A video clip shared by British Transport Police showed the Mitsubishi, front number plate hanging loose, driving along railway tracks and past a station platform.

“This was an immensely dangerous and senseless act by O’Halloran, which caused significant risk to passengers and damage to the railway,” Det Insp Raymond Ascott said.

“The sentence handed to him reflects the severity of this crime and we are thankful no one was injured as a result of O’Halloran’s alarming behaviour.

“He’ll now have plenty of time to reflect on his idiotic actions in prison.”

The drive caused more than £23,000 worth of damage, BTP said.

O’Halloran drove his black Mitsubishi through a gate at Duddeston and travelled 1 kilometre down the railway tracks towards Aston.

In police interview, he denied he was the person driving the vehicle when shown CCTV footage and refused to comment on why he had done it.

BTP said the car was abandoned across the tracks and O’Halloran fled the scene.

A mobile phone found by officers inside the car was traced back to O'Halloran.

Updated: September 8th 2021, 9:23 AM