Network Rail gives Bedford youngsters great platform for learning

Bedford youngsters were taught the importance of staying safe on and round the railway with a special tour.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 5:50 am

Network Rail invited 28 pupils - aged 10 and 11 - from Priory Lower School in Bedford to the newly reconstructed Bromham Road bridge.

The pupils were given a site tour and were taught about why the bridge needed to be reconstructed, the benefits of the project and how to stay safe in and around a railway environment.

Pupils were also taught how dangerous it is to trespass on the tracks, particularly in areas with overhead line equipment, which carries 25,000 volts and would have life changing consequences for anyone coming into contact with it.

Network Rail with pupils from Priory Lower School

Philippa D’Netto, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Safety is our top priority and we wanted to teach the pupils about how to stay safe when using the railway.

“There are big changes happening to the railway in Bedford as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade. Whilst the electrification of the route from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford will bring significant benefits for passengers, the new equipment which will be used to power the trains carries 25,000 volts of electricity, so we wanted to highlight just how important it is to stay safe."

The children will also be designing art work, which will be installed on the temporary footbridge. This will be based on safety information which they learnt from the site visit.

Philippa added: “We hope the children enjoyed the day and we look forward seeing their artwork and getting it installed in the New Year.”

Paula Wakeling, acting head of Priory Primary School, said: "The visit to the Bromham Road bridge site was an amazingly informative visit for our children as it gave them the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge on future career paths as well as giving them time to get hands-on with some unusual equipment.

“They were so excited to be VIPs for the day and came back into school buzzing with information about railway safety and the new bridge structure."