Over the weekend, Network Rail launched a brand new comic to promote safety and highlight the dangers of trespassing on or near electrified railway.

The comic was produced as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade and launched at Comic Con in Birmingham. The comic was based on the multi-award-winning original film ‘Eighteen’ which Network Rail commissioned last year and has been viewed over five million times. It depicts the devastating, life-changing and fatal consequences which coming into contact with overhead line equipment can have.

The plot of the film, and subsequent story of the comic, was devised through safety workshops with schools in Northamptonshire, with over 250 young people aged 11-16 taking part and inputting their ideas. The film was approached in this way to make sure that it resonated with the target audience, as well as getting pupils in the area where the railway line is being electrified engaged with the message.

Birmingham Comic Con is attended by over 24,000 people and 3500 copies were handed out to attendees free of charge. The comic will also be handed out at a number of community safety events which take place next year as work on the Midland Main Line Upgrade continues.

Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The electrification of the Midland Main Line from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford will bring huge benefits to passengers, however it adds a new danger to anyone trespassing on the tracks.

“The new equipment, which will be used to power trains, carries 25,000 volts of electricity- enough to kill anyone coming into contact with it.

“There is never an excuse to trespass or mess around on the railway, Safety is our top priority and we have launched this comic to build on the safety message from the film and really hammer home just how dangerous this behaviour is.”