Pupils from St Roch’s Primary and Deaf School, Royston, recently visited Network Rail’s Glasgow Maintenance Delivery Unit (MDU), to learn more about the industry as part of a community partnership.
Workshops were held at the MDU in Cowlairs, with 45 pupils from primary six taking part and seeing first-hand the type of tools, machinery and technology used to safely run the railway.
Network Rail’s team demonstrated some of the equipment used to maintain 1,752 miles of track in Scotland including Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs), industrial chipping machines to manage vegetation and drones to help inspect the track to identify damage or potential risk.
The pupils were also given an insight into the range of skills and different types of jobs involved in the industry, as well as important information on staying safe around the railway.
The community partnership was forged during COP26 last year, when pupils from St Roch’s Primary and Deaf School visited Glasgow Central station as part of a wider schools’ competition to encourage people to live greener.
Marie Anne Hendry, Network Rail infrastructure maintenance delivery manager, said: “We were delighted to welcome pupils from St Roch’s to the Glasgow MDU as we recognise the vital role community partnerships play in engaging with communities and in helping young people find out more about the railway industry.
“The positive response during the visit from the pupils is hugely encouraging. For many, it was their first chance to hear about what we do as an industry and I’m confident we’ve planted a few seeds as a future career choice for several of the students, many of whom would never have considered the railway previously.
“It also allowed us to introduce the young people to important information on rail safety and this is something we will look to build on over the coming months, as we undertake further initiatives with the school.”
Ava McGeehan, teacher at St Roch’s Primary and Deaf School, said: “The value of opportunities such as this for St Roch’s cannot be underestimated.
“Through the school’s community partnership with Network Rail, the pupils have been given an avenue to explore which in turn, helps engage and educate them on the possibilities that lie beyond their school years.”
Following the visit to Cowlairs, the school will welcome Network Rail into the school to take part in a STEM event, when the students will learn more on subjects like engineering and technology and how this is applied on the railway.