Monday 8 Oct 2012


Region & Route:
| Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern

Network Rail hopes a new TV advert will make people more aware that they should treat approaching rail footpath crossings as they would a busy road, even in quiet rural areas.

The advert depicts a family taking a slow and easy cycle through the countryside, playing a game of “I spy” which distracts them as they approach the footpath crossing. The daughter is standing on the crossing as she realises the answer to the game is “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with t", is track; she then hears the approaching train sound its horn and realises she is in its path.

Network Rail hopes the powerful message “See track, think train” will raise awareness that despite the quiet, rural setting, that paying attention to warning signs can save your life. While fatalities at level crossings are at a low, there have been more pedestrians than motorists killed at crossings in recent years, and Network Rail wanted to focus its latest campaign to connect with this audience.

Dave Ward, Network Rail route managing director for Anglia, said: “We know it is easy to get distracted or given the sleepy, rural surroundings not realise the risk at a crossing, but just as motorways cut through the countryside, so do railways.

“We’re doing all we can to make the railway safer by upgrading crossings or closing them if we can, but we hope this advert will raise awareness that we all need to take care and look out for the warning signs ahead of every level crossing; doing so can save your life.”

This campaign, with a focus on pedestrian safety, follows Network Rail’s summer online video with rap artist Professor Green, asking people to remove their headphones at level crossings so they aren’t distracted from safety warnings.

Network Rail has a £130m investment programme to improve level crossing safety. This includes:

• A national closure programme which will see 750 crossings removed from the network by April 2014. More than 600 have already been closed.
• Replacing footpath crossings with footbridges
• Installing warning lights as an additional safety measure at footpath crossings
• A new schools programme – Rail Life – teaching both primary and secondary school children about how to stay safe when crossing the railway
• Rolling out 10 more camera enforcement vans – the Anglia route already has one camera enforcement van and a second one will arrive later this year
• Investing in new technology
• Introducing new cost effective barriers to open crossings
• Employing more than 100 new dedicated level crossing managers nationally
• Community safety managers who work closely with local groups, councils and schools to raise awareness

Notes to editors

The Anglia route consists of the West Anglia, Great Eastern and Thameside routes – encompassing the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Greater London. The majority of services are operated by Greater Anglia (West Anglia and Great Eastern main line) and c2c (Thameside), though First Capital Connect and East Midlands Trains also provide services to Cambridge and Norwich respectively.

Types of level crossings for pedestrians:

Footpath crossings - around 3000 (375 in the Anglia route)
User worked crossings - around 2500 (298 in the Anglia route)
Station crossings - around 200 (16 in the Anglia route)

Visit for more information and guidance on how to use them safely.

Network Rail has a dedicated youth initiative called Rail Life. Created in partnership with young people it aims to raise awareness of level crossing safety and other rail safety issues. The initiative will provide a wide range of resources, ranging from assembly kits to lesson plans, for use in schools and youth clubs.

The high impact youth website contains facts, videos, advice and lots of content on rail safety for teenagers (11-17 year olds).

The vision for the campaign is that it will become the main place that young people (and the professionals who work with them) will go to for insights and information on many aspects of the railway – from safety, to careers, to general information about Britain’s transforming rail network.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: