Friday 6 Oct 2006


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
Children in South Wales are to benefit from a revamped railway safety training zone, thanks to a £5,000 donation from Network Rail. Built as a village, the interactive ‘Safety Zone’ provides a number of realistic sets where children can experience a variety of potential hazards, these include: a section of railway track; a building site; a police station; and a forest. Mark Langman, Network Rail’s General Manager for Wales & Marches, said: “As the owner and operator of the rail network in Wales, we realise the importance of teaching children about the dangers of the railway from a young age.  The safety zone provides a unique and ideal opportunity for those who visit the centre to learn about railway safety, and the consequences of trespassing, in a realistic environment.” For the past three years, Network Rail has supported the safety zone by presenting rail safety workshops to children visiting the venue.  The donation has enabled the railway set to be renovated and fully equipped with track, fencing and sound effects, which bring the situation to life.  Approximately 1,600 school children from the Cardiff area will be the first to benefit from the new railway set over the fortnight that begins on 9 October. Tony Key, Safety Zone’s Community Safety Officer, said “We are delighted to work in partnership with Network Rail to bring home to children just how dangerous it is to play on or near railway lines.” The Safety Zone, based in Treforest Industrial Estate, attracts 14,000 year 6 primary school pupils each year, covering 60%of the primary schools in South Wales.  It allows school children, elderly people and other community groups to learn about potentially dangerous situations in an environment that mimics real-life scenarios.

Notes to editors

Children visiting the venue are guided through a number of scenarios by education officers and volunteers from agencies, including South Wales Fire Service, the police and local councils. Network Rail has ten dedicated Railway Crime Education Managers who work closely with other parts of the railway industry, offering railway safety information and visits to schools, youth offending teams, youth clubs and councils throughout the UK. Based on the premise that many young people are tempted to play on tracks because they are bored and have nothing else to do with their time, Network Rail has developed a No Messin’! campaign to encourage a diversion from unsafe activities, rather than trying to change behaviour through shock tactics. Website: – offering information, entertainment and competitions.

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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.

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