Published on : Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Local pupils are getting stuck into workshops provided by Network Rail. The company responsible for the UK’s railway network is visiting 14 local schools throughout the Thames Valley to educate them on the risks associated with an electrified railway.
Last week Iver Village Junior School and James Elliman Academy in Slough were visited by Network Rail’s project team. Pupils took part in a quiz, got dressed up in safety clothing and learnt about the new greener and more reliable rail service which is being built near to their schools.
Safety is Network Rail’s number one priority and there was a serious message to these visits. In preparation for new overhead wires being turned on along the railway in Spring 2017, the company wants as many people as possible to be aware of the dangers associated with an electrified railway.
The wires will power the Elizabeth line’s new electric trains and local people will be able to travel all the way into central London and beyond without changing at Paddington. To make this possible, Network Rail has built 17 miles of overhead line equipment, as part of the Crossrail programme, which will carry 25,000 volts of electricity – 100 times more powerful than electricity in the home.
This means they can be extremely dangerous if not understood properly, but are perfectly safe if you keep away. Electrified railways allow for quicker, greener and more efficient services to run which means you can get from A to B with less impact on the environment.
Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail said “Britain has the safest railway in Europe but we must work even harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist.
“These dangers are even more acute when the railway is electrified so I hope that the young people have enjoyed the time they have spent with our team of experts but also taken away the serious message that the railway near to them is a no-go zone.”
Muzzafer Ali, Head of Year Six at James Elliman Academy said “It was wonderful to see the children engaged with such a serious topic such as rail safety. And what better way for it to be given than by a Network Rail engineer. The children learned a lot about the development of the railway lines near them and even came away with some goodies!”