A GOVERNMENT minister has decried a worrying rise in the number of people “train surfing” on the Sydney rail network.

The past year has seen a 43 per cent rise in the number of people riding the exterior of trains.

Sydney Trains has released images and CCTV of the daredevil behaviour in the hope it will discourage the trend which saw 110 people caught train surfing in the last 12 months.

It is currently Rail Safety Week in NSW.

The images show people jumping onto the outside of the rear cabs of trains and then hanging on as the train departs. The images come primarily from the T3 Bankstown and T4 Illawarra lines.

The state’s Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said there was epidemic of people riding the outside of trains, playing chicken with trains and crossing the tracks, putting their lives in danger in the process.

“This is scary stuff,” he said. “People need to realise they are dealing with a 400 tonne vehicle, the chances of surviving if something goes wrong are very, very low,” Mr Constance said.

“Trespassing in the rail corridor or surfing the outside of the train is not only illegal, it’s also extremely dangerous and stupid behaviour.

“It only takes a train accelerating quickly or braking suddenly to shake someone onto the tracks. If the fall itself doesn’t kill you, the next train coming along probably will,” Mr Constance said.

Sydney Trains conducted an exercise to illustrate how long it takes a train to stop and the impact of a train hitting someone.

The organisation collided a train travelling at 100km/h, with the emergency brakes applied, into balloons and polystyrene boards at various distances.

The furthest objects were placed 225 metres from the train from the point where it slammed on the brakes.

“In the test we modelled, it took 325 metres for the train to come to a full stop. That’s more than three football fields in distance, that’s compared to a car which would likely take 128 metres to stop,” Mr Constance said.

Transport for NSW are working closely with Police Transport Command to target and deter reckless behaviour, and provide CCTV footage to help identify risk takers.

The minimum fine for people caught trespassing is $400 but this can be has high as $5,500.

“The message is it is not worth risking your life for a cheap thrill,” Mr Constance said.