Keeping UK schoolchildren safe on rail

  • Date: 29 June 2023
  • In: UK

200 primary-aged schoolchildren recently got together at Shildon’s iconic Locomotion museum to learn about how to stay safe around railways.

The event, which took place over two days and included sessions from train companies as well as British Transport Police (BTP) and Railway Children, looked at using trains safely, planning a journey and the dangers of trespassing on the railway.

Droning on...

The highlight of the event for the children was having a good look at the vehicles that BTP use and even seeing a BTP drone in action!

At the end of the day, Northern Rail arranged for some of the children to leave the venue by rail, helping them to put what they’d learnt into practice.

"This was a fantastic day, superbly organised and thoroughly enjoyed by the pupils and staff,” said Simon Heritage, Deputy Head Teacher at Gurney Pease Academy.

"The children were incredibly receptive to the presentation,” added Mary-Anne Snowdon, inspector for BTP,

With the help of our drone, they really seemed to grasp the dangers of the railway and how to stay safe.

A team effort

A team effort

The event, tying into the UK’s Rail Safety Week, was supported by volunteers from LNER, TransPennine Express, ISS, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, Newcastle College’s Rail Academy and Weardale Railway.

Sessions were delivered by a range of rail industry partners, including Network Rail, BTP, Northern, CrossCountry, Railway Children and Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership.

The success of this event opens the way for many more events like it around the country. And, with passenger numbers having doubled on UK trains over the past 20 years, rail safety is a message that increasingly needs to be heard.

As BTP's Mary-Ann Snowdon reflects:

Events like these are key to reaching a young audience and making railway safety lessons fun and accessible.

Read more about our work with the rail industry >