We care about keeping people safe on and around the railway. It’s at the heart of everything we do.
We have a responsibility to inform and educate passengers and other members of the public about how to stay safe by the railway. Although our rail network is one of the safest in Europe, serious or fatal accidents or near misses with trains still occur.
We work with national and local organisations to make the railway a safer place for the public, and invest in a number of safety awareness programmes and campaigns.
You can read a very quick guide to our most recent safety campaigns below. Click through to the campaign pages to delve deeper and find out more – including why they’re such a crucial part of helping people to stay safe, and what we’re doing.
Our most recent safety campaign, by the LNE & EM route, warns and informs people who live near the Midland Mainline about the risks of electrified overhead lines to people who trespass on the railway. The line from Bedford via Kettering to Corby is being electrified as part of the Midland Mainline upgrade.
There is no danger from electrified lines to anyone as long as people use the railway correctly and respect the railway boundary.
The campaign web page also explains how electricity harms you at 25,000 Volts – that’s the lethal amount carried by overhead lines on the railway.
Small Talk Saves Lives is our joint campaign with Samaritans and British Transport Police to encourage the general public to support those who may be in emotional crisis around them on the rail network.
Our previous campaigns have focused on raising awareness of the support services offered by the Samaritans, but this bystander campaign launched in November 2017 is the first of its kind on the railway.
Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks. While the dangers of the railway are not always visible, the electricity is always on and trains can travel up to 125mph. Shockingly, new figures released in spring 2017 revealed that trespass was at a 10-year high.
Our trespass campaigns are seasonal as we know that people are twice as likely to trespass on the tracks over summer due to the lengthier days and lighter evenings, with children on school holidays in particular potentially taking life-threatening risks.
If Britain was building the railway now, we wouldn’t have any level crossings, but there are more than 6,000 still on our rail network – one of the busiest in the world. Our national improvements programme, investing in closing and upgrading level crossings, sits alongside a safety awareness campaign aimed at specific user groups.
Previous campaigns have given tailored safety advice to drivers, dog walkers, young people, commuters, cyclists, farmers and farm workers, and people with hearing visual and mobility impairment. You can find this by clicking the link below.
We teamed up with British Transport Police, RSSB and Drinkaware for our festive campaign reminding revellers to take extra care near the railway after having a drink. Stations and level crossings can be dangerous places. The statistics speak for themselves about the consequences of being intoxicated near the railway.
Danger points for intoxicated passengers are:
not heeding the warnings at level crossings
trips and slips at the platform edge and on station stairs and escalators
An expensive problem for the railway – at around £13,000 per strike – bridge strikes endanger drivers, passengers and cause lengthy delays that can have a knock-on effect across the network.
Research showed us that 43 per cent of lorry drivers admit to not measuring their vehicle before heading out on the road, and 52 per cent admit to not taking low bridges into account. That’s why we’re reminding drivers to check their vehicle and plan their route to avoid low bridges before setting off, and we have tools, training and guidance in several languages for drivers and logistics companies to help tackle bridge strikes.