London North Eastern Railway, the east coast rail line operator, has unveiled an installation of a child's bedroom that has been abandoned, as a reminder of the reality of the life-threatening consequences of railway-track trespassing.
The project was inspired by LNER research that found a quarter of 12- to 17-year-olds admitted to knowing somebody who had trespassed on railway tracks, and 70% of parents and guardians agreed that a visual installation capturing the threat would help them to approach the difficult conversation.
"The Waiting Room" pop-up features distant sounds of trains passing by, an unmade bed, a lamp left on and a calendar covered in scribbles counting down to an event.
As a visual depiction of the life-threatening impact of trespassing, the installation is designed to make passers-by stop and think, encouraging them to acknowledge the inherent dangers of railway trespassing. Accompanying signage highlights some of the key statistics.
The pop-up is on display at Eldon Square shopping centre in Newcastle until 3 August. The location was selected because the Newcastle to Darlington line is one of the worst affected areas in the UK when it comes to trespassing, with 95 incidents last year.
The activity has been timed to coincide with the school summer holidays, a time when children have more spare time and boredom heightens.
Warrick Dent, safety and operations director at LNER, said: "Railway-track trespassing is a very real threat that needlessly kills those who risk their lives, and our research identified more needs to be done to educate people and encourage open conversations between parents, guardians and their children.
"Children are set to spend more time at home during the summer holidays and often are at risk of boredom, therefore we hope our installation makes parents stop and think, prompting them to speak to their children of the dangers of trespassing on the railway and in turn preventing the loss of lives."
Tin Man delivered the project.