Network Rail warns Walsall and Staffordshire youngsters of dangers of electrified railway

Children living between Walsall and Rugeley are being urged to stay off the railway as part of the upgrade of the line between the two towns.

Network Rail’s community safety team has been visiting schools in the West Midlands and Staffordshire as part of the upgrade and electrification of the railway which will see electric trains running between Walsall and Rugeley for the first time.

During the visits, primary and secondary school age children learn about the dangers of trespassing on the railway and the new threat of 25,000 volt overhead line equipment and the devastating consequences of getting too close or coming into contact with the electrified wires.

Lisa Lewis, community safety manager at Network Rail, said: “Safety is our priority and we’ve already delivered our presentation to more than 4,000 young people in schools. The sessions are doing a fantastic job at highlighting the very real dangers of playing and trespassing on the railway.

“The sessions focus on safety and young people learn more about the overhead line equipment which is used to power trains. Once installed, electrified wires are always switched on – even when there are no trains passing. They carry 25,000 volts of electricity, which can be fatal. Our message is simple – never trespass on the railway for any reason.”

In addition to delivering presentations in schools, Network Rail has teamed up with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, supporting their Safe+Sound Programme in Cannock and Rugeley. 

Safe+Sound presentations will be delivered to 850 year 6 pupils at Rugeley and Cannock Fire Stations. They focus on fire safety, water safety with Canal & River Trust and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, information from DHL’s trucks and child safety team, internet safety, what to do in an emergency from a community first responder and rail safety with Network Rail.

Helen Wood, business development manager at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:  “Safe+Sound is a partnership approach to health, safety and wellbeing, coordinated by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service; we are proud to be supporting communities to make informed and positive lifestyle choices; improving their health, safety and wellbeing. Safe+Sound is delivering across the county and will soon be enhanced by the addition of mobile delivery spaces with immersive, interactive technology.”

Network Rail is investing £100m into electrifying and upgrading the line between Walsall and Rugeley. This is part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, enabling  greener, quieter, faster and more frequent services on this route.