Published on : Saturday, June 11, 2016
A new web app has been launched in the South East this week, with the aim of helping commuters take action if they think someone might be at risk on or near the railway.Rail505.com is designed for mobile phone users and will enable passengers to make a report if they are worried about someone or feel someone is at risk of harm.
Passengers are encouraged to speak to a member of staff if they see something they feel worried about, but if that isn’t possible commuters can use Rail505.com.Ian Stevens, programme manager at Network Rail, said: “Passengers are the eyes and ears of the railway and by making it easier for people to communicate with us we can improve safety for everybody.
“It could be that someone has been sitting on a platform for a long time, appears distressed or looks to be too close to the tracks. As soon as we receive a report, help will be sent to the person to find out more.“We would prefer to be alerted to a situation and find out nothing is wrong, than miss something which might save a life.”
British Transport Police Inspector Pippa Smith, Rail 505 lead, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Network Rail on this web app. It is a great way for passengers to become more aware of their fellow passengers and report and take action if they are worried or concerned about someone on or near the railway. By using the app the right help at the right time can be given to someone who might be at risk on or near the railway.”
It takes a few taps and no more than a couple of minutes to make a report. Reports made through Rail505.com will be kept entirely confidential and people using it don’t have to register or leave any contact details.The Rail505.com pilot will run until August 5 and the service will cover the parts of south east London and Kent covered by the operator Southeastern.
Four 15-second videos showing the kind of situations people should be looking out for will be shown on station information screens and advertised online. Rail staff will also be at key stations in south east London and Kent to raise awareness of the new website.
At the end of the pilot, Network Rail will evaluate the number of reports received, and the effect they had. If successful, the system will continue to be used. This will prompt further trials across the country to determine if this system could be rolled nationally.