Education about rail safety at Key Stages 3 and 4 (Scotland P7 to S4) provides young people with the information and skills to stay safe as they enjoy greater independence.
We worked closely with teachers and students to develop resources to help you run engaging, interactive activities that match different curriculum areas, including English and Science, and deliver Ofted requirements for PSHE teaching.
Forty per cent of the network is electrified; this will grow by 25 per cent by 2020 and as new routes are electrified we need to educate young people about the increased danger.
With over 6,100 level crossings around Britain, it is important that young people understand how to use them safely.
Electricity and the railway
PowerPoint slideshow with embedded videos and a quiz about electricity around the railway for Key Stages 3 and 4. Includes accompanying teacher's guide. PC and Mac versions.
Presentation - Electricity and the railway (zip, 126 MB)
NB save the presentation and videos in the same folder.
Lesson plan activities
Issues covered include the dangers of electricity around the railway, the history and future of the railway, the roots of risky behaviour and the role of peer pressure. Activities include a drama, a quiz and a safety campaign project. The accompanying student worksheets are available below.
KS3 and 4 - Lesson plan activities - Electricity and the railway (pdf, 3.1 MB)
KS3 - Worksheet 1 - Danger on the tracks (pdf, 120 KB)
KS3 - Worksheet 2 - Who's in charge? (pdf, 110 KB)
KS4 - Worksheet 1 - Reporting on the railway (pdf, 130 KB)
KS4 - Worksheet 2 - Shocking campaigns (pdf, 2 MB)
KS3 and 4 - Worksheet set (pdf, 2.1 MB)
If you haven't held the assembly on electricity and the railway, we recommend using the assembly presentation (and supporting teacher's guide) to introduce the lesson.
PowerPoint slideshow with embedded videos and a quiz for Key Stages 3 and 4.
Teacher's guide to the level crossings presentation (pdf, 12.2 MB)
KS3 and 4 - Presentation on level crossing safety (Powerpoint 97-2003, 10.4 MB)
KS3 and 4 - Presentation on level crossing safety (PowerPoint 2007, 28.1 MB)
KS3 and 4 - Presentation on level crossing safety (PowerPoint for Apple Mac, 9.9 MB)
Lesson plan activities
The activities cover issues including level crossing safety and the general dangers around the railway. The roots of risky behaviour and the role of peer pressure are explored. Activities include a drama, a quiz and a community safety campaign.
Lesson plan activities - Level crossings - KS3 and 4 (pdf, 3 MB)
If you haven't held the assembly about level crossings, we recommend using the assembly presentation (and supporting teacher's guide) to introduce the lesson.
Rail Life Safety Guide
This short guide contains information about the railway and safety issues. You can also hand out copies to aid research and discussion.
Rail Life Safety Guide (pdf, 3.5 MB)
Crossing Over film
This six minute film combines a reconstruction with an interview with Tina Hughes, whose daughter Olivia was killed at a level crossing in 2005. It is suitable for ages 12 plus:
Crossing Over (wmv, 41 MB)
Animation showing how much electricity is flowing through overhead power lines.
Animated infographic (mp4, 5.5 MB)
Real life story videos
Thought-provoking real life stories about incidents on the railway. You may wish to review before showing to the class.
Nathan was electrocuted while playing near the overhead power lines. He suffered severe shock and burns and was lucky to survive.
Nathan's video (mp4, 22.8 MB)
Leighton and Sammy
Leighton's girlfriend Sammy died after tripping on the electrified rail while taking a shortcut across the railway.
Leighton and Sammy's video (mp4, 16.9 MB)
Richard drove over a level crossing when the lights were flashing and crashed into a train. Two friends who were in the car with him died.
Richard's video (mp4, 18.9 MB)
Railway staff talk about what happens on the tracks, from trespass to level crossing misuse.
Railway Staff video (wmv, 9 MB)
Railway staff and British Transport Police share their view of the impact of a death on the railway.
Perspectives video (mp4, 19 MB)
Based on real life events, this film shows the impact on friends of an electrocution played out through social media.
Reconstruction - Plan for the Weekend (mp4, 25.7 MB)
Each year we run an advertising campaign to highlight the dangers of level crossings.
Level crossings: See Track / Think Train (mp4, 6.7 MB)
Level crossings: They're not time wasters. They're life savers (mp4, 7.3 MB)
Real-life CCTV footage of close calls due to railway misuse.
CCTV Sports - Don't try this at home (mp4, 15.1 MB)
Electrification - local fact sheet
North West electrification (pdf, 85 KB)
Last updated 16 June 2016