The Borders Railway project has launched a programme of safety workshops aimed at reaching every primary school pupil living along the new route in advance of trains returning to the region in 2015.
The Network Rail initiative, run by Scottish Youth Theatre, was launched at Gorebridge Primary School today with the support of Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell MSP.
Running throughout May and June this year, the programme will reach over 1,000 children attending over 70 workshops in 16 different schools.
The workshops, which promote role play and active learning, have been developed to encourage young people in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders to become more aware of the opportunities and risks that the railway will bring.
Carol Deveney, Network Rail’s Senior Programme Development Manager for the Borders Railway Project said: “For many children in the area, the completion of the Borders Railway in 2015 will represent the first regular interface with railways. The workshops have been specifically designed by Scottish Youth Theatre to discourage trespass while encouraging responsible use of the railway.
“It has been great to spend some time with the kids at Gorebridge Primary this morning. Their enthusiasm for the railway and the opportunities it will bring is a real reminder of why we are building this vital new link.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People said: “The re-introduction of the Borders Railway train services next year is great news for local communities, however it is essential we do all we can to educate our children about the dangers associated with playing near railways.
“The Scottish Youth Theatre’s Rail Respect workshops are packed with great ideas and will play a big role in helping local children learn about responsible use of the railway. It is great to see the Scottish Youth Theatre working closely with Network Rail on such an important initiative aimed at keeping our children safe.”