The first reaction from railway companies to Pokemon GO, the app-incarnation of the popular 90s trading card and video game, was to be cautious.

Stories of people having to be rescued from caves while out attempting to snag rare Pokemon has naturally concerned train operators around the world. Suddenly there is the risk that trainers, as they are called, could step off platforms into oncoming trains because they spotted a Growlithe on the tracks.

Sweden’s rail infrastructure manager, Trafikverket, has warned of the ‘inappropriate’ and ‘downright dangerous’ behaviour it has witnessed from some players near railway lines.

Although it had not been inundated with reports Pokemon GO-related near misses, the British Transport Police (BTP) sent out a Tweet last week to remind passengers in the UK of the risks – the Tweet included a photo taken by a member of staff showing a Pokemon hiding on track.

But operators, like many businesses and community groups, are also looking at how they can benefit from the craze. Public transport is an efficient way of travelling around a town or city catching Pokemon and visiting PokeStop’s – locations that gift players useful items.

Merseyrail and Stagecoach Supertram have both looked to do this, using Twitter to encourage passengers to search at their stops.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has produced a helpful guide to the items and Pokemon that can be found around its routes and stations. It has also set up a dedicated Pokemon GO Twitter account, @PokemonGOMetro, and is planning a ‘Pokemon GO Metro Gold Line takeover’ this Sunday.

Operators like Virgin Trains East Coast have recognised that the game is a great way to interact with their customers. But the common message is to stay alert and remember that it is not only against the law to trespass on the railway, certainly in the UK and many parts of the world, it is also exceptionally dangerous. Have fun, but stay safe.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I think people who use Pokemon Go whilst they are waiting for a bus or a train are putting themselves in danger because no matter what it gets them out & about and to catch these artificial characters by using the actual Pokemon Go app. It can be so attempting to catch any Pokemon at any location and it can pose a danger to anyone who goes too far and their lives will be in danger such as playing that game and trespassing onto the railway tracks is dangerous enough to get hit by a train traveling between 60-100mph (125mph on some main lines and 140mph on HS1). I do think that there should be a ban on Pokemon Go at railway stations and on the train but more people won’t listen to any warnings and yes they be the victim of being brainwashed by Pokemon Go and run over by a train or electrocuted by live 750v DC 3rd rail and live 25kv AC overhead.

      • Haven’t even played it but I’ve seen dumb people risking their lives because they are playing that game and it’s just as addictive to any other games that people have played on their smartphones.

        • But that doesn’t mean that everyone who plays it is dumb. The game specifically warns you to pay attention to your surroundings, thankfully there haven’t been serious incidents of trespass so far. The game developers have the power to restrict Pokémon from appearing in potentially hazardous areas. They have no intention of ‘brainwashing’ anyone like you suggest.

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