Jonathan up to rail safety challenge

Jonathan McCracken from Banbridge, who took third prize in the Level Crossing Awareness Safety challenge.
Jonathan McCracken from Banbridge, who took third prize in the Level Crossing Awareness Safety challenge.

Banbridge’s Jonathan McCracken demonstrated he has rail safety ‘Smarts’ at NI Railways Level Crossing Safety Awareness challenge.

He claimed the third prize in a Translink NI Railways Level Crossing Awareness Safety challenge at CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, Antrim last week.

Jonathan said; “The videos of how accidents can happen at level crossings were shocking and brought home to me just how dangerous day to day activities on farms with train lines running through them could be if you do not carefully follow all of the rules.”

The Safety Challenge was run as part of the induction programme for first year Further Education Agriculture and Land Based Technology students who may not have travelled by train or worked near railway tracks before. The overall winner was Jenny McCrea from Strabane.

Keith Pollock, Level Crossing Risk Coordinator, Translink said, “This is the second year of our rail safety partnership with CAFRE and it’s significant that all three winners are from communities not close to the railway network.

“This demonstrates to us the value of the partnership as many of the young people on these courses may end up working on a farm which has a user worked crossing, either as contractors or employees and need to understand the risks associated with such crossings.

“I would like to thank CAFRE for the opportunity to work with these young people, who are just starting out in their careers in agriculture.”

Each year Translink NI Railways promotes the safe use of private crossings by attending agricultural shows, visiting landowners, carrying out training for crossing users and devising safety initiatives for young farmers, such as this Level Crossing Awareness Scheme.

CAFRE Course Manager, Dr Kate Semple said, “Health and Safety is an integral part of our work in CAFRE and this partnership with Translink NI Railways has served to stress another important aspect.

“The TRANSLINK presentation and competition fit well into the induction programme and receive positive feedback from the participants. Listening and watching the presentation and then being tested reinforces the message and the prizes are of course an excellent incentive as well!”

All winners received a special trophy made from a cross section of railway track and a cash prize.

Copies of Translink safety booklet, “The safe use of user worked crossings’ are available from Translink by download at