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Newly compiled figures show 20 pedestrians were killed on the tracks last year, more than any other year in the past decade. A further five were seriously injured.
Among the deaths, 16 happened on off-limits tracks while four occurred at level crossings.
About 30 per cent were reported as suicides.
Launching a new rail safety campaign on Monday, KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said trespassing was the leading cause of railway deaths.
The numbers don't include the many near misses his drivers witness every day.
The company is running a campaign which warns young people, particularly men, not to wear headphones or use mobile phones around train tracks, silk ribbon embroidery and never cross in unauthorised areas.
Mr Quinn said he hopes the quirky cartoon figures of "train brains", to be used on billboards and in a computer game, will help trespassers think again.
Chris Cairns, former international cricketer turned rail safety campaigner, property in thailand said the stereotypical trespasser was a young man trying to take short cuts along or across train tracks because it seemed more convenient than using a proper crossing.
Others were riding bikes or walking around barrier arms that are down at a level crossing, running across the track in front of an approaching train and train surfing on the outside of a train.
"People don't understand the risks or are complacent about them," Mr Cairns said.
"This campaign aims to remind people about the dangers involved and what they need to do to keep safe."
In the past decade more than 100 pedestrians have died on train tracks and more than 30 have been seriously injured nuskin.
In 2012, 20 people died, the most reported any year in the past decade.
The next highest was 16, reported in both 2003 and 2006.
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