Exeter Police said they have increased their patrols along the Amtrak tracks after a game of "chicken" nearly turned deadly.

Seven kids were playing on the tracks along Lincoln Street, according to police, and one was nearly struck by a southbound train.

Amtrak's Downeaster runs through Exeter but may not stop if no one is boarding or getting off. Freight trains don't stop at all.

Police Chief Stephan Poulin said on the department's Facebook page that trains can't stop quickly. It can take a train traveling at 55 mph up to a mile to come to a stop, according to the Federal Rail Administration.

“The train is going much faster than it appears to someone standing there, and we're making this public announcement to hopefully prevent a tragic and deadly accident from occurring,” he said.

While the fine for trespassing on the tracks can be up to $10,000 Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc and Exeter Police will team up on a program that focuses on enforcement and education.

Exeter Police also asked anyone who sees trespassers on the tracks to call them at 603-772-1212.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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