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Tyne Valley CRP promote rail safety to young people

Guy Opperman MP with Arlo (Fiona), and TVCRP Directors Anne Ridley (far left) and Julie Gibbon (far right).

Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (CRP) is using the children’s railway safety book “Arlo’s Adventures” to relaunch their education offer to schools, following a two-year absence due to Covid-19.

The Partnership have recently taken delivery of 3,000 copies of “Arlo’s Adventures: There and Back“, written and illustrated by Freightliner driver Bessie Matthews. The ‘pick-a-path’ railway safety book tells the story of Arlo the badger and his friends on a day out as they make safe choices around the railway.

Tyne Valley CRP Officers have been delivering copies of the book (along with Backtrack competition sheets and information about the CRP’s education offer) to primary schools in communities between Newcastle and Carlisle.

Arlo has also been making a few personal appearances too – he delighted children (and adults!) at a community day in the small Cumbrian village of Walton, and met local MP Guy Opperman and former Rail Minister Wendy Morton MP when they visited Haltwhistle earlier this month. Arlo’s next engagement will be at a ‘fresher’s fair’ at a local sixth form college.

Copies of the book are also being distributed locally and several were given to the Booking Office in Hexham Station. In one particular instance, a staff member in the ticket office at Hexham Station encountered a young girl with autism who was anxious about travelling, and gave her a copy of “Arlo’s Adventures” to reassure her. The girl’s mum was so impressed with the station staff, she posted the good news story on the ‘Hexham Matters’ Facebook group, and the story was picked up for a journalist from the Hexham Courant. This resulted in an outpouring of support for station staff on Facebook, and provided a great piece of evidence as to the impact the book is having.

Copies of “Arlo’s Adventures” can be obtained from Hexham Station Booking Office, and CRPs and education groups are also able to order the book online. All the details can be found here.

If you are interested in the work Tyne Valley CRP does with young people around rail safety, sustainability and education visits, get in touch via