This chilling PSA looks at railway trespassing from a (frighteningly) fresh perspective

Film from the U.K.'s network rail looks at the effect on the traumatized train driver

Published On
Mar 16, 2021

Editor's Pick

Spoiler: no-one is killed by a train in the new PSA from the U.K.'s Network Rail, warning about the dangers of trespassing on railway tracks. But that doesn't make it any less disturbing. 

The film, by 23Red, instead looks at such activity from a fresh point of view, that of the train driver. It's narrated by a teenage boy, telling a story of how he and a group of mates went down to play on some train tracks, taking a friend who hadn't been there before. As he tells the story, his talking head is intercut with footage of the train driver, cheerfully getting ready to go to work and heading out to his job on a normal morning. 

As the boy relates the tale of how he encouraged his friend to jump across the track with a train coming, we don't see the act itself until the very last minute, but we see the driver and all his reactions in minute detail. Afterwards, the film follows him back home, showing that he's clearly traumatized by the events. The boy ends his story with the words. " harm done, right?"

The film was created in conjunction with production company Oliver’s Island, who developed the script with input from young people from London's Lewisham Youth Theatre. It will be streamed into schools this week as part of a rail safety broadcast by Network Rail’s education partner, LearnLive, and is also being supported by a social media campaign and out-of-home activity.

"We saw a shocking 40% increase in youth trespass incidents after the first national lockdown, and as current lockdown restrictions ease this powerful film is crucial to get children to consider the devastating consequences of their actions," said Donna Mitchell, senior media campaigns manager at Network Rail. "Parallel Lines highlights the impact that trespass can have not only on the trespasser and their loved ones, but the wider, sometimes hidden harm caused to others.”

“‘Parallel Lines’ is a different story to traditional trespass campaigns and one our young audience won’t have seen before," added Tristan Cavanagh, Creative Director at 23Red. "Whilst most dramatize death or injury, our trespasser survives unharmed. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost, and it’s that story we wanted to tell through a really simple but effective creative construct. So, whilst we hear about trespass from the point of view of our young protagonist Dean, we get to see the devastating real-world consequences to our driver and his family.”


Mar 16, 2021
Client :
Network Rail (U.K.)
Agency :
Senior Account Manager :
Emma Burrows
Senior Media Campaigns Manager :
Donna Mitchell
Script Development :
Oliver’s Island
Script Development :
Emanuel Silva
Script Development :
Lewisham Youth Theatre
Script Development :
Dean Philips
Senior Art Director :
Tom Mann
Copywriter :
Ali Omar
Creative Director :
Tristan Cavanagh
Planner :
Lily Cameron
Agency Producer :
Rachel Rollinson
Agency Producer :
Philippa Dunning
Senior Account Manager :
Emma Burrows
Account Director :
Amelia Leachman
Business Director :
Sadie Westwood
Media Agency :
Universal McCann
Media Planner :
Amardip Jhamat
Production Company :
Oliver’s Island
Director :
Sam Bailey
Producer :
Patrick Schulenburg
Grade :
Samantha Day
Phil Barthropp
Audio Post Production :
Tom Gibbons
Post Production :
Oliver’s Island

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