SPL Powerlines UK has been presented with a ‘gold disc’ for becoming a gold level partner of the Rail Safe Friendly programme.

Rail Safe Friendly, which is run by digital education provider Learn Live, was launched in March 2023 and delivers Network Rail’s video safety content directly to schools via the Learn Live Channel. Already, over 1,400 UK schools are on board with the programme and industry partners from across the rail sector have sponsored and become partners in it.

On Friday (September 15) Stuart Heaton, founder and managing director of Learn Live and Rail Safe Friendly, visited SPL Powerline’s premises in Doncaster to present the team with a ‘gold disc’ to mark the company’s support in becoming a gold level partner of the education programme.

Chris Hext, UK Group Safety & Services Director of SPL Powerlines UK said: “A culture of safety is at the heart of everything that we do at SPL Powerlines. For this reason it was a very easy decision for us to sign up to Rail Safe Friendly and to give our support to this critically important education programme.

“Children are taught about road safety from a very early age and the same should be the case for teaching our younger generations about the dangers of trespassing on the railway. SPL Powerlines UK is proud to be a sponsor and partner of Rail Safe Friendly to ensure school children across the country are educated about the dangers that are present around the railway.”

Rail Safe Friendly is a new addition to the Learn Live Channel, which since 2019, has broadcast Network Rail and other safety content directly to over 20 million young people in more than 11,500 schools. This work has been undertaken in collaboration with the Trespass Improvement Team at Network Rail.

The broadcasts are delivered through live or on demand content digitally into classrooms and assembly halls via the Learn Live channel. The channel also has a moderated, GDPR compliant LIVE CHAT facility to promote interaction and involvement from the schools and colleges taking part in Rail Safe Friendly.

Stuart Heaton said: “Without the support of the rail industry we would not be able to deliver vital rail safety education to so many school children across the UK. I am delighted to welcome SPL Powerlines to our programme and thank them, along with all the other companies who support Rail Safe Friendly. Their involvement means that we can reach even more children with critical rail safety messages with the aim of keeping them safe.”

The programme seeks to educate children and young people on the many dangers that are present on the railway. For example, nearly half of the UK rail network is electrified and more than 30 per cent uses a third rail to power the train. The third rail has 750 vaults running through it, which is enough to kill or seriously injure someone if they stepped on it. Overhead cables that power trains carry 25,000 vaults, more than 100 times the power of electricity in the average home. Electricity from overhead lines can also jump or arc through the air, meaning someone does not have to be touching the line to be electrocuted and killed.