Press Release – SPL Powerlines UK receives ‘gold disc’ for supporting rail safety education programme

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.

Photo caption: Rail Safe Friendly presents SPL Powerlines UK with a ‘gold disc’ to mark the company becoming a gold level partner of the education programme. (L-R): Toni Kirby (HR Director, SPL Powerlines), Stuart Heaton (Founder and MD Learn Live & Rail Safe Friendly), Chris Hext (UK Group Safety & Services Director, SPL Powerlines) and Scott Culyer (Head of Environment & Sustainability, SPL Powerlines).

For further information about Learn Live and Rail Safe Friendly, interview requests and photos/video footage please contact Melanie Hill at Gravity PR via email at or call 07527 847423

Notes to Editors:

● Learn Live runs innovative, interactive, moderated online news channels that bring a world of opportunity and experiences directly into the classroom, home, or business. Each interactive Learn Live broadcast can be attended by an unlimited number of schools/colleges, job seekers or businesses simply by logging into the channel online. The Learn Live News Channels continuously link schools/colleges/universities to employers and are working successfully with companies like Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, DWP, Gatwick Airport, Brook and The NHS amongst others to deliver PSHE broadcasts across the UK.

There are three levels to the Rail Safe Friendly Initiative for schools to achieve:

  • Bronze level – A school will ensure that all pupils and teachers have watched the rail safety broadcast either live or on demand via the Learn Live channel. Schools will need to register to confirm their attendance and provide feedback after the broadcast has been viewed by the students. Schools will also need to sign up to the Switch On Rail Safety website to receive rail safety updates from Network Rail.


  • Silver level – To achieve the Silver level, a school will need to have completed the Bronze level and communicated to parents and carers the details of the rail safety broadcast. This can be done via newsletters, parent assemblies, school websites, social media channels or other forms of communication used by a school. The school will also be asked to promote the Switched-On Rail Safety website on their social media channels.

  • Gold level – To achieve the Gold level, a school will need to have completed the Bronze and Silver levels and create a rail safety video, podcast or poster with their students to promote in their school and social media channels using a brief provided by Learn Live.

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