Monday 24 May 2021
Welsh celebrities back new Network Rail safety campaign encouraging children to take rail safety pledge
- Region & Route:
- Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
Gavin and Stacey actress, Joanna Page, and ex-Wales rugby captain, Gareth Thomas have been put through their paces in a new educational video, designed to teach children about rail safety.
The #IAmTrainSafe campaign, launched by Network Rail on Monday 24th May has been created to help make learning about rail safety fun and engaging for children from a young age, ahead of the end of May bank holiday and upcoming Summer holidays.
In the video, which asks children to take a safety quiz and pledge after watching, Joanna and Gareth are put to the test with a series of activities covering topics like; trespass and vandalism, level crossing safety, railway electrification and station safety.
Each year there are around 13,500 trespass incidents on Britain’s railways resulting in the loss of around 20-30 lives and in the past decade, 69 people have died after being electrocuted on the railway.
The ‘I am train safe’ campaign forms part of Network Rail’s commitment to helping parents and teachers educate children on the dangers of the railway.
Making the decision to take part in the safety campaign was an easy for Joanna and she learned a lot herself, too.
“I’m doing it because I’ve got three children and I think from the minute that I had children you just worry about their safety”, Joanna said.
“I think it’s important to try and get these messages across to children in a really nice, fun way, so they realise how dangerous the railway can be.
“I’ve learnt so much in all of the different challenges we’ve done and the quiz. I didn’t know any of it before.”
For Gareth, this campaign is about teaching children that some risks just aren’t worth taking.
“I realise that what I did as a kid around train tracks was really stupid and children are still doing it. It’s like this generational thing that has never stopped”, Gareth said.
“It’s great to be a part of something to help change that culture, changing that way of life where young people think that it’s okay to dare someone to do something near something that’s so dangerous.”
Emily Coughlin, community safety manager at Network Rail said:
“So many more families are having staycations now in Britain and there are so many people who might never have been close to a railway line before and we have to educate on the dangers.
“Rail safety may not sound like the most exciting topic for young people to learn about, which is why we’ve teamed up with some familiar faces to educate people in a completely new way.
“We hope that by sharing safety messages in a light-hearted and fun manner, young people in particular will engage with this important topic and remember the life-saving messages contained within.”
British Transport Police Embedded Inspector, Beata Evans, said: “Each year, hundreds of people take risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries.
“We continue to proactively patrol the railway network across Wales. Safety is our number one priority and we’re working with Network Rail to remind everyone of the importance of taking care around the railway and that everyone loses when you step on the track.”
Notes to Editors
Network Rail has also launched a school competition with the aim of encouraging more children to take the rail safety pledge online.
The video is being shared with primary and secondary schools across Wales.
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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.