Railway Reality Check – Busting the Myths!

A Platform Movie Premiere!

An exciting new film to inform young people about staying safe around railways was launched by Platform and Southeast Community Rail Partnership. Key stage 2 children at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Yate were the very first to enjoy the film at the movie premiere on Monday 4th March.

The film, ‘Railway Reality Check – Busting the Myths‘ is designed to address the misconceptions  children and young people have about the railways and how to stay safe.

Why did we need a myth busting film?

In the past few years, education officers from Platform and Southeast CRP have visited hundreds of schools to deliver rail safety and confidence workshops to children and young people. These workshops cover the key safety messages to keep people safe at the station, on the platform and on the train as well as how to use trains confidently. In the course of these workshops, the same misconceptions about railway safety have been raised by young people again and again. Sometimes these myths were created by movies and TV shows, sometimes from social media, sometimes from simple misunderstandings. But in each case, if these myths had been acted on, it could have put children in serious danger.

To address these misconceptions, Platform and Southeast CRP secured funding from GWR to make a film, Railway Reality Check, to bust the myths about staying safe around the railway. The film was shot on location at Gloucester, Cam and Dursley, Reading and Thatcham stations by Woven Films and is presented by two young people in a clear, conversational and informative way.

The whole film is just over 8 minutes long, but it has been divided into 5 ‘shorts’ for ease of use and to provide a clear focus in the classroom. (You can see the playlist here.)  The first film addresses myths about the track – there is NO safe place down there! The second film covers the knowledge young people need to stay safe around electricity on the railways, important now that around half of rail services are now electrified. Film three looks at the impact of high-speed trains going through station and the all-important yellow line. In the fourth film, there is an important message about retrieving objects which have been dropped on the track. Finally, film five looks at level crossing safety.

The key safety messages from the film: keep off the track; stay behind the yellow line; stay below the orange line; and wait behind the barrier at the level crossing are so simple – but Railway Reality Check puts them into context. The film explains to children and young people the reason why they must follow the rules.

The film was extremely well-received at the St Paul’s film premiere. Movie-goers gave their reviews:

“I liked the film.  It told me how to be safe on the railway….what to do and what not to do.”

“The film showed you the real places where there are trains so you could see what to do.”

“I liked the different focuses and how it was all joined up with screwed up paper!”

“It was really memorable.  I know not to pass the yellow line and never to go above the orange line – you could be electrocuted.”

Jensen and Ostea, Year 5, St Paul’s Catholic Primary

“It was great because whatever ability you are, you can understand the language that they’re using. It’s very concise. It’s very clear, so it’s something all of them can access and it’s children explaining to children which I liked as well.” – Year 5 Teacher, St Paul’s Catholic Primary

“When you see fast trains coming, [the yellow line on the platform] makes sure you are not dragged in.  You have to stay behind the yellow line. People who are blind can feel the bumps [of the tactile paving]”

“If I lose something on the track, I would ask a member of staff or use the help point to get it back.”

Veronika, Dan and Daisy, Year 6 St Paul’s Catholic Primary

“I like the phrase mythbusters … It told me all the safety parts … It made it clear to me what was safe and what was not safe and it was better because you could actually see the real [stations] … It made me want to go on lots of trains.”

Year 3 St Paul’s Catholic Primary School.

“Trains are a really safe form of transport.  And children and young people don’t try or intend to make dangerous choices. However sometimes, due to their misconceptions, they do – putting themselves and others in danger. We hope that in busting those myths we can help young people choose the actions to make their whole railway experience even safer.”

Soo Jackson, Learning Development Officer, Platform

We’re here to help you

For more information and support, you can contact the Platform team here.