Young children near railway lines

Innovation improving rail safety

Network Rail is using technology to improve the way that young people see railway safety, as it works to tackle the number of incidents on its East Coast Route.

Through interactive sessions at a Doncaster school, Network Rail’s Community Safety Team and the British Transport Police used virtual reality to education students on the dangers of trespassing on the railway.

This comes as figures show that there were more than 1,9000 incidents on the route last year, with these including trespass, level crossing misuse and railway crime. Of that number, almost 400 (20.5%) included people under the age of 21.

Students using VR headsets - Network Rail

Community Safety Manager for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, Robert Merry, said:

“These interactive sessions are designed to teach an important lesson to young people around safety on the railway and the dangers of trespassing.

“The use of virtual reality is a new and different way to show young people the real-life dangers and potential consequences of trespassing.

“The1,000th young person to use the V headsets marks an important milestone in Network Rail’s campaign to expand the knowledge of railway safety in young people and we can’t wait to take them to more children and young people.”

The VR headsets show students two different scenarios that involve young people, giving them a first-person view of what can happen if they trespass on the railway. One of these scenarios includes a teenager being struck by a train after becoming distracted, whilst also showing this event from the point of view of the train driver.

More than 1,000 young people have now benefitted from this education across the East Coast Route.

Also involved in the education work, the British Transport Police were at hand to show students some of the equipment that they use to stop trespassing on the tracks, with this include a drone that is able to search for trespassers 24 hours a day.


Image credit: iStock and Network Rail


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