Monday 11 Apr 2022
Peep Peep! Thomas & Friends® make special trip to London to teach kids about rail safety
- Region & Route:
- Join Thomas the Tank Engine, Rusty & Dusty and Sir Topham Hatt as they host a number of in-station events over the Easter holidays
- Events mark launch of special episode of Thomas & Friends® to teach kids about rail safety
- Rail safety campaign backed by comedian Sophie McCartney
A special episode of the much-loved children’s programme, Thomas & Friends®, is being released today to teach young children about rail safety.
As part of the Network Rail, Thomas & Friends campaign some of the show’s best-known characters including Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt are off on their latest adventure to visit some of London’s most iconic railway stations. Thomas and the gang will be taking part in three launch events on station concourses throughout the Easter holidays, and children are being invited to come along and enjoy the fun and engage with rail safety.
The events mark the launch of the exclusive episode of Thomas & Friends, aimed at three to six-year-olds, to gently raise awareness of the dangers of misusing the railway. The two-minute-long animation gives parents a useful way of starting a conversation about this important subject. In the episode, Thomas’ friend Diesel is being cheeky and learns his lesson when he travels too fast along the tracks in a game of red light, green light with Thomas and fellow engine Nia. Diesel learns about the dangers of misusing the railway and that it is more important to be safe, than to be silly. The episode is available to watch here (see notes to editors for password).
The campaign is being backed by comedian Sophie McCartney who is mum to nine-year-old Jack and six-year-old Evelyn, and The Sunday Times number one best-selling author of, ‘Tired and Tested: The Wild Ride into Parenthood’.
Sophie said: “I have young children myself and totally agree that rail safety is a subject that should be discussed more by parents. But knowing how to get the messaging right can be tricky. I love how Network Rail and Thomas & Friends have teamed up to inject some fun into this campaign which still has safety at its heart but will make parents and children much more receptive to what they are trying to teach, because let’s be honest, which child doesn’t love an episode of Thomas & Friends!”
Rupert Lown, chief health and safety officer at Network Rail said: “With leisure travel back to pre-pandemic levels, our stations are once again buzzing with life. It’s lovely seeing families off on exciting days out and having fun. But it’s important that children are made aware of the potential dangers surrounding the railway, so they know how to use it safely.
“Research* has shown us that most parents are very good at discussing road safety, but rail safety often gets forgotten about, or parents don’t know how to bring up the subject in an age-appropriate way with their children. Using Thomas & Friends makes it more light-hearted and creates an opportunity to bring up the subject of safety in a nurturing way.”
The launch events will be taking place at the following stations:
London Victoria – Monday 11 April at 11:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30
London Bridge – Thursday 14 April at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 16:30
London Waterloo – Wednesday 20 April at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 16:30
Notes to Editors
The episode is available to watch here. A password will be required before 00:01 on Monday 11 April. The password to view the video is Thomas2022.
*Research findings from Mumsnet conducted on behalf of Network Rail:
- Two thirds of parents identify that their children need to be spoken to about rail safety because they do not understand the dangers (66%).
- Families living in London are more likely to have talked about rail safety (56%) compared to 48% of parents who live outside of London.
The gap when boarding the train is more of a concern to those families living in London (48% vs 29% outside of London), whereas going on the track is a major worry to those not living in the capital (33% vs 9% living in London).
When asked to rank the most important areas of safety to teach their children, parents ranked road safety as highest and rail safety as lowest:
- Road safety (96%)
- Avoiding strangers (67%)
- Water / swimming safety in a pool (53%)
- Online and digital safety (44%)
- Rail safety (15%)
The survey was conducted by Mumsnet from 6th April and the 16th April 2020. 611 parents with at least one child aged 3 to 6 completed the survey. More than three quarters of these parents (77%) have more than 1 child.
Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogues of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, UNO® and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.
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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.