Innovative tool teaches children level crossing safety.(Network Rail)

Innovative tool teaches children level crossing safety

Over ninety Meole Brace Primary School took part in the rail safety event hosted by Network Rail employees, using the model level crossing for the first time.(Network Rail Image)

Network Rail’s Wales and Borders level crossing and maintenance teams have joined forces to build a model footpath crossing, helping them to deliver school safety sessions. The innovative teaching tool aims to provide young people with an enhanced understanding of how to use footpath crossings safely, by replicating the conditions of a working level crossing.

The portable crossing made its debut appearance at a rail safety event at Meole Brace Primary School in Shrewsbury yesterday, Thursday 5 July.  The model can replicate two different types of footpath crossing, both of which can be found in the local area and are common across the railway network.

Over ninety children took part in the rail safety session, which included understanding what hazards are around and on the railway and learning how to use level crossings safely by trying out the model footpath crossing.

The launch of the portable footpath crossing coincides with Rail Safety Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness on how to stay safe on and near the railway. The model will allow Network Rail level crossing teams across Wales and Borders to offer engaging and effective rail safety lessons to large numbers of children at once.

Bill Kelly, acting route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders said:

 “We run one of the safest railways in Europe, but we must not be complacent. I am pleased to see Network Rail teams put ideas into action to keep the communities we serve safe.

“Recent research shows most adults do not recognise how dangerous level crossings can be, so it’s important we engage with young people early, to make sure they know how to stay safe on and near the railway.”

Andrew Nodder, a teacher at Meole Brace Primary School, said:

“With a number of popular railway crossings in the local area it is vital that children are aware of the how to stay as safe as possible while crossing the railway.

“This workshop achieved all of its objectives and the delivery was excellent. The new model was well received by the children and gave them a chance to practice crossing in a safe environment, away from the live railway. Thank you, Network Rail!”