added: 19 Sep 2013 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk
UK rapper Wretch 32 and spoken word performer George the Poet have put their hearing to the test in a unique experiment as part of a new Network Rail safety campaign aimed at young men called Track Tests.
Scroll down to view the video.
Last year* 41 people lost their lives after trespassing on the railway - a total of 270 in five years - with 16-24 year old males making up four out of ten fatalities. Incidents occurred both at stations and along the railway.
A survey for Track Tests reveals that despite most agreeing it's dangerous to trespass on the tracks, a third of people (32%) think they would hear a train in time to move out of the way. This increases to more than half (51%) of 16-24 years old males.
The Track Tests video shows how Wretch 32 and George the Poet battle to make a split second decision, relying only on their hearing to work out which direction a train is coming from as it travels towards them at 80mph in the dark.
In this instance of course, it's not a real train. The artists stand in a warehouse where a mocked-up railway with a 'spoke' of tracks has been built. Sound engineers have created a 360 degree surround-sound system to recreate the noise of an approaching train with other distracting noises such as wind and traffic.
In the test, Wretch and George each stand in the middle of the spoke and, when they are sure which direction the sound is coming from, they select a corresponding button. Only then do they find out if they are right or wrong and if they selected in enough time.
Wretch 32 said: I've got 97% hearing, so should have a good idea of where sound is coming from. As soon as I stepped into the Track Test simulator and the normal sounds you'd expect to hear when you're on the tracks, like traffic noise, are added, I didn't make it across in time. No matter how much confidence you've got in your hearing and speed, when you're in the dark and a train is coming towards you at 80mph, confidence is not enough to get you across safely.'
To complement Track Tests, British Transport Police has also launched Operation Avert, which will target 64 key locations across Britain over the next six weeks to reduce trespass with increased patrols, increased community engagement and real time monitoring of CCTV at hotspots.
The Track Tests video along with a 'behind the scenes' version can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/networkrail
Stay updated with your free Music News daily newsletter. Subscribe here now!