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Rail safety the focus of new tune

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Lawrence Foakes and Rob Mason
AWARD WINNER: Torbay resident and Veolia train driver Lawrence Foakes accepts the individual award from RailCorp chief executive Rob Mason.

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Teaching rail safety through music has won Lawrence Foakes recognition in the Australasian rail industry.

The Torbay train driver has won the individual award in the Australasian Rail Association Rail Industry Awards for his dedication to teaching young children how to stay safe around trains through his Rail Safety Song.

The rail association represents rail in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Mr Foakes was flown to the gala dinner at Canberra's Parliament House and was presented his award while his song was played.

The North Shore Times spoke with Mr Foakes in September when Auckland's rail network operator Veolia, who he works for, chose his song as the official Rail Safety Week song.

The father of two decided to write a song to make rail education fun and understandable for younger kids.

After playing around for a week, Mr Foakes recorded the song at a friend's place. An animated music video with karaoke lyrics was made especially for it.

Safety and education is now more important than ever as new, quieter electric trains will soon be rolling around Auckland, Mr Foakes says.

But the song is proving popular and effective with people of all ageswhich means more lives will be saved, he says.

"There's been a positive response.

"Everyone talking about it is a positive thing."

But it's "a bit weird" hearing kids sing his lyrics back, Mr Foakes says.

In the last seven months there have been 13 rail-related pedestrian incidents, including fatal ones, according to Veolia.

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- North Shore Times

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