The Drupal application we developed to help prevent incidents of suicide on the rail network.


Strategy UX Design & Build

The brief...

Network Rail work closely with the rail industry on suicide prevention initiatives and are regarded as world leaders in this area. With 256 suicides on the UK railways every year, they are constantly looking for new ways to combat this problem.

For their latest suicide prevention initiative, Network Rail aimed to enlist the help of passengers, providing them with a direct way to report someone who could be in danger of harm. The decision was made to create an application called Rail505, to enable passengers to alert emergency response teams to individuals at risk, whilst being able to access vital information on what to look out for. 

The application needed to be fast to load, simple to navigate and usable in a variety of rail network locations. It also needed to be seamlessly integrated with the system used by the emergency response team.

What we did...

This was a collaborative project which involved a vast number of stakeholders, ranging from advertising professionals to law enforcement officers. We managed to work seamlessly together as one team to deliver the application.

As this was a completely new initiative that sought to tackle an extremely sensitive issue, there was a great deal of uncertainty and risk involved so it was to be delivered as a pilot initially with a view to rolling it out nationally if it was successful.

An extensive research project was carried out to determine the correct messaging and branding and with a short deadline of just five weeks, this meant that we needed to be flexible to changes whilst developing the app. Our Agile way of working was perfect for this as it meant we were able to adapt functionality as needed.

We developed a fully responsive Drupal application which is user friendly and extremely quick to load. It is integrated with geolocation so that the emergency response team receive exact coordinates of an incident, enabling them to reach it in the fastest possible time.

Before the launch of the pilot, we carried out a live testing exercise at various locations on the rail network to ensure that all integrations worked seamlessly with existing safety practices used by the response team.

The Rail505 application on an iPhone

The results...

The project has been a rewarding experience for MMT Digital as we were able to work collaboratively with a varied project team towards a shared goal of tackling suicide on the rail network. Due to the success of the first pilot, we are now working with Network Rail to roll out the second phase.

"MMT were quick to ease concerns regarding their ability to design and deploy the appropriate technologies giving others the confidence to consider and experiment with process design. All seemed to recognise that they had been given the opportunity to deliver a product that had true social value."

The rail505 application in an iphone on location