Friday 7 Oct 2016
Mother hopes son’s dream experience can help inspire others to visit Network Rail
A mother has described her autistic son’s visit to a Network Rail level crossing as a “dream” and urged others to give their children a similar experience.
Lucretia Malcolm contacted Network Rail as her son, Julius Kriauciunas, is obsessed with level crossings and he kept asking about how they work and the people that work there.
This led Lucretia to get in touch with Network Rail who arranged for Julius, who attends St Pauls C of E Primary School in Gloucester, and his friend, Koefee Palmer, to visit Horton level crossing which was improved in August as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway.
During their visit the youngsters were given a lesson in how the level crossing works, what the upgrade involves and shown how the control room manages not only Horton Road level crossing but many others.
Lucretia explained how valuable the experience was and said: “I thought the visit was great and I still can’t believe Julius got the chance to have his dream. He described it as the best day ever and I hope his story can encourage other children, especially those with an autism spectrum disorder, to go on visits like this.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for making this possible. It’s now all he talks about and he says he wants to work for Network Rail.
As well as encouraging children’s interest in the railway Network Rail has been working hard to improve safety near the tracks.
Network Rail recently had a Summer of Safety Campaign where they worked with partnership agencies and parents to reduce the number of incidents and raise awareness.
Steve Melanophy, Community Safety Manger from Network Rail explains: “If anyone is on the railway, they are on dangerous ground. It may seem like a good idea to take a shortcut, or like fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also dangerous.
“As the railway gets busier and we electrify more lines to improve services, we must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.”
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 19 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.