Network Rail Educates Over 1,000 Young People on Railway Safety Using VR Technology

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 6, 2024 21:34 PMNews
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Woman wearing futuristic VR headset with neon lights
Woman wearing futuristic VR headset with neon lights. Source: unsplash

Network Rail recently held five interactive railway safety sessions at Trinity Academy in Thorne, Doncaster, where virtual reality (VR) headsets were used to educate students on the dangers of trespassing on the railway. The sessions were organized by Network Rail's Community Safety team and the British Transport Police for 100 students aged 13 and 14, emphasizing the importance of railway safety and the potential consequences of trespassing.

These safety sessions are part of Network Rail’s initiative to reduce the number of railway-related incidents across its East Coast route. In the last financial year alone, more than 1,900 incidents, including trespassing, level crossing misuse, and railway crime, were recorded, with nearly 400 (20.5%) involving people under 21.

Network Rail invested in innovative VR headsets that present two immersive scenarios from a 360-degree, first-person perspective to highlight the dangers and potential consequences of trespassing. One scenario shows a teenager being struck by a train after being distracted by their phone, and another illustrates the viewpoint of a train driver approaching trespassers on the track.

These sessions have helped over 1,000 young people across the East Coast route gain a deeper understanding of railway safety and the risks involved. Network Rail also provided a presentation on vandalism, electrical safety, and trespassing, while the British Transport Police showcased their equipment, including a drone used to monitor wide areas for trespassers.

The sessions were part of a broader crime and safety awareness day organized by the charity Prison Me, No Way, where students also learned about prison life, county lines, and electrical safety.

Network Rail plans to expand the VR technology and safety sessions to more schools and universities, increasing young people's awareness of the dangers surrounding the railway.

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