Christmas comes early for rail safety poster winners

Three lucky children took a festive train trip with Santa on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways on Sunday [10 December] after winning a rail safety poster competition organised by Network Rail’s local level crossing team.

The posters highlight the dangers of texting and listening to music whilst using level crossings and will be used at local stations to make sure people know the danger of being distracted near the railway.

Almost 100 children from three schools entered the competition, which was judged by Phillip Caldwell, level crossing manager, Clare Britton, commercial manager for the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Heritage Railways, and her daughter Annie, who has worked as a PCSO for the British Transport Police.

Arriva Trains Wales has also organised family trips to Aberystwyth and Llandudno for the second and third prize winners.

Phillip Caldwell, level crossing manager for Network Rail, Wales and Borders, who organised the competition, said: “We have the safest railway in Europe and getting people home safe every day is a key priority.

“It is essential that children learn how to use level crossings safely, and we work hard with our partners Arriva Trains Wales and Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway to educate young people on the importance of rail safety.

“It was great to see so many pupils engage in the competition, and the winning designs show just how important it is to take extra care and make sure you are not distracted near the railway.”

Paul Lewin, general manager for Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, said: “It is really good to be working with our colleagues at Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales to highlight this very important safety message.

“We have many level crossings on our railway and safety is paramount in our organisation so anything we can do to raise awareness is great!”

The competition was also organised in partnership with Cambrian Railway Partnership, with additional prizes provided by the Welsh Books Council.