A Paralympic champion who lost his leg in a railway accident has thrown his support behind a campaign warning young people about the dangers of railway lines.

Marcio Fernandes represented Cape Verde in the 2012 Paralympic and Summer Paralympic games, and was the first athlete from the country to qualify for the games on athletic merit.

As a child, he lost his leg after an accident involving a train. Now, he is sharing his experiences as a survivor and an athlete to urge youngsters to stay safe near railway lines, as an advocate for You vs. Train, a safety campaign run by Network Rail and British Transport Police and supported by StreetGames.

Over 250 incidents of people messing around on railway lines are reported each week, with under-18s involved in a third of all cases. While many are aware that the railway is a dangerous place, most don’t realise quite how dangerous it is or the specific hazards they face when they step on the track.

You vs Train is working to inform young people about the risks of going near the lines: trains, trips and electrocution are all real dangers.

As well as a series of hard-hitting videos, the campaign is also educating young people face-to-face, with StreetGames delivering safety information directly via their sports and activity programs, thereby engaging young people in a fun and safe environment.

Marcio Fernandes said:

“As a youngster I was involved in a terrible accident which cost me my leg, but the truth is I’m one of the lucky ones. Every year children are killed or left with horrific industries as a result of messing around near train tracks.

I can’t tell you how important this campaign is. Young people need to understand the risks they take when they step on the track, and the best way to get that through to them is face to face, talking to them on their level.

That’s why the work StreetGames is doing is so effective. You can deliver a serious message and still make sure kids are having fun.”


Editors notes

More information about the campaign can be found at www.youvstrain.co.uk