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Railway Safety Book a Big Hit with the Kids

Press release -

Railway Safety Book a Big Hit with the Kids

Virgin Trains has come up with a novel way to help promote safety on the railways with the launch of a new book entitled Ryan’s Railway Adventure.

The guide to railway safety which is aimed at young children and their parents tells the story of Ryan’s first ever journey on the train with his family.

At the very start of his adventure Ryan meets Sammy the Railway Safety Bear who helps him along the way to ensure he arrives safely with his mum and dad at the seaside. 

The book was written by Gareth Shelley, Customer Service Assistant with Virgin Trains at Stafford station and illustrated by fellow Virgin Trains’ colleague Barry Redfern based at Preston.

 “Safety on the railways is paramount,” explained Gareth. “Working at the station as I do, it is great to see lots of excited young children travelling by train. It is important however that we make them aware of the potential dangers from as early an age as possible. This is especially the case during school holidays.

“Safety is not the easiest of subjects to address, especially with a young audience. That’s where the idea for the book came and I’ve been overwhelmed by how well it has been received.”

“We’ve also tried to make it interactive with a series of questions which the kids love.”

In addition to Barry’s illustrations Sammy, the Railway Safety Bear, has been brought to life in the guise of a 6ft mascot who to mark the launch of the book, will be touring a number of Virgin Trains’ stations  this week including London Euston, Coventry, Crewe, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow Central. During the course of his trip he will be meeting school children and reading from the book. (See attached schedule below).

As well as handing out books at our stations, Virgin Trains is actively encouraging local schools to get in touch to arrange station visits where the children will get to meet Sammy and of course have the book read to them.  Our Community Champions will also be happy to to discuss visits to the classroom.

For more advice on railway safety or a large print/digital version of this book please email or call 0845 000 3333.

Safety Footnote

Tragically, 164 people lost their lives after going onto railway tracks in the last five years. Of these, 70% were struck by trains with 18% suffering electrocution by coming into contact with the power supply which can be as much as 25,000 volts. The peak ages for trespass fatalities are late teens and earlier twenties, with around one in five deaths in this age group. These incidents are avoidable and Virgin Trains is committed to getting a positive message to young people that might help to save their lives.

Sammy the Safety Bear’s Itinerary

To mark the launch of the book Sammy, along with Gareth (the author) and Barry (the illustrator) will be calling travelling on our trains to the following stations.

Wednesday 1st April 

Preston    0900 until 0954 

Carlisle  1100 until 1147 

Glasgow Central    1301 until 1400 

Tuesday 2nd April

London Euston  0900 until 1023

Coventry  1121 until 1142

Crewe  1307 until 1400

To arrange for media visits please call Richard Stanton – 07500 122941.



About Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned by Virgin Group (51%) and Stagecoach (49%). Virgin Trains has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. In June 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded VRG a new franchise until at least April 2017.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. We provide the most frequent long-distance rail service in Europe (London - Manchester and London – Birmingham, both every 20 minutes).

Since 1997, Virgin Trains has introduced over 70 new trains at a cost of £1.5 billion. The service carries more than 32 million passengers a year and Virgin Trains employs approximately 3,290 staff.

Virgin Trains customers consistently rate the company as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Passenger Survey (NPS) commissioned by industry watchdog “Passenger Focus”.

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