Monday 20 Sep 2004


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
Date:              Wednesday 22 September 2004 Time:             2pm Location:                   Manchester City Football Club’s ground, SportCity             Journalists and photographers are invited to the launch of “Football in the Community”, a scheme that involves top footballers warning children in the North West of the dangers of playing on or around the railway. Network Rail works closely on this joint scheme with local football clubs in areas that are hotspots for “route crime”, with top coaches spelling out the serious – and potentially fatal – consequences of playing on the railway.             Manchester City’s David James will attend the launch of Network Rail’s “Football in the Community” programme in the North West.  He said: “It’s important that children understand playing on the railway or throwing bricks at trains is stupid and dangerous.   Hopefully, “Football in the Community” can help get the message out to children in the North West, so they stay away from the tracks and avoid being killed or seriously injured.” -more- Football – 2 Every year children are killed on the railway.  Many more are left with horrific burns or scars after they are electrocuted, and some lose limbs after being hit by trains.  Vandalism on the railway, which is mainly committed by children and young people, costs the rail industry £264 million each year. Thousands of objects are placed on the track in front of trains each year. Some of these objects are placed there by children ‘just to see what happens’ but research has shown they often move on to using larger objects such as gas canisters, concrete blocks, scaffolding, rubbish bins and even stolen vehicles. Network Rail carries out a dedicated educational programme in schools and communities to raise awareness about the dangers of route crime but the “Football in the Community” scheme is an alternative way of putting the message across. The company supports football schools, which help entertain children in the school holidays when they can get bored and tempted to play on the railway. Alex Pilling, Network Rail’s External Liaison Officer, said: “We are happy to support the Football in the Community Programme.  We find that children respond very well to the coaches’ presentations on railway safety, and they go away with a clear understanding of why messing around on the tracks is so dangerous.”             Network Rail is currently working with Manchester City FC, Oldham FC, Rochdale FC, Crewe Alexandra FC, Burnley FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and Wrexham FC.

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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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