Children from a Sutton primary school have visited a ground-breaking new virtual-reality experience to learn about safety near railways.

Westbourne Primary School pupils visited the first of its kind display, which was created in collaboration between Network Rail, BAM Nuttall, and Sutton Life Centre - which played host to the experience.

The experience included an indoor reconstruction of a train station in an immersive session to deliver railway safety messages to students.

Ricky Theodosio, 32, Centre Manager at Sutton Life Centre, said: “The thing that makes Sutton centre stand out is the use of the cinematic technology.

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Ricky Theodosio

“So, we have got a lot of projection effects and sound effects built in with these scenarios to make it more immersive, and little bit more accessible to young people. “

It took six days and about ten people to construct everything, from the platform and the tracks to the surround sound and projection screens. There are even safety signs and a pigeon on the tracks to make it as real as possible.

There were two different workshops and safety railway quizzes in between. The event kicked off with a short quiz and after that the children were split into two groups.

One group went off exploring a miniature of a railway station where they looked into and identified safety hazards and risks on a train platform, while the others visited the virtual-reality station room where they learnt more about safety on the platform, anti-social behaviour and graffiti on the platform and train.

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Nicola Dooris

Nicola Dooris, Network Rail’s Community Safety Manager in the south east, said: “We devised a plan to build a train station inside an educational facility.

“This virtual station is an incredible weapon in our armoury when it comes to educating children and teenagers about the potentially fatal risks on the railway.”

After the workshops the ten-years-old pupils were given the same quiz again but this time children were excitingly shouting the answers at loud, and there was a significant improvement in awareness after having taken part in the experience.