Thomas the Tank Engine has been working with Network Rail and the British Transport Police to produce a new picture book for children, educating them about the importance of rail safety.
The book, named “Staying Safe with Thomas” teaches children not to stand too close to the edge of the platform and to stop at level crossings when red lights are showing.
The Head of Public and Passenger Safety at Network Rail, Allan Spence, said: “The railway is full of both obvious and hidden dangers.
“By offering parents an engaging way to talk to their children at a young age about safety on the railway, we hope children will grow up knowing the dangers and keep themselves and their friends safe.”
The book also relates to the ‘You VS Train’ rail safety campaign, aimed at slightly older children.
In the past 5 years, the number of children underestimating the risks on the railway has increased by almost 80 percent, according to the British Transport Police.
The new book aims to highlight rail safety in the same way as other outside risks.
Susan Peters, Superintendent at British Transport Police said: “Our focus is keeping people safe and working with such a well-known children’s television character is exciting. This Thomas the Tank Engine storybook gives us an engaging and accessible way to ensure essential safety-messaging is reaching young children.
“Although BTP runs activities through the year to educate the public of the seen and unseen dangers in and around the railway tracks, we hope that being able to discuss this subject through the use of these books, will make our safety messages go further.”
This is the first time that, Mattel, the children’s entertainment company have published a Thomas the Tank Engine book with a theme specifically about rail safety.
Senior Regional Licensing Manager of Publishing at Mattel, said: “’Thomas & Friends’ has been teaching life lessons for over 70 years, through storybooks as well as its exciting content and product ranges.
“So, it was a natural fit to collaborate on a rail safety storybook which leverages and reinforces the brand’s key values of friendship, teamwork and safety.”
The children’s book is being given out to local libraries, nurseries and doctors’ surgeries around the UK for free.
A free, electronic version of the book is now available to download at: www.networkrail.co.uk/thomas