New rail activity book for kids set to engineer a platform for the future

Parents can solve the perennial ‘are we nearly there yet’ question on long train journeys this summer with a new free rail activity book for kids which aims to inspire the next generation of engineers.

The educational book, supported by the rail industry and part of the government’s ‘Year of Engineering’, features a variety of puzzles and questions to help teach kids about how the rail network operates.

With the rail industry’s long-term plan committing to deliver 100,000 job opportunities by 2027 and create 20,000 new apprenticeships by 2020, the book aims to be a first step towards a future career by teaching them about science, technology, engineering and maths.

Robert Nisbet, Regional Director at the Rail Delivery Group, said:

“Our long-term plan to change and improve the railway will create 100,000 new opportunities by 2027 so it is crucial that we act now to inspire the next generation of engineers. A key part of this is encouraging young people to understand more about what it means to be an engineer and this activity book will help put the wheels in motion.”

Fifty pupils from Argyle Primary School were the first to receive the activity book this morning at Kings Cross Station, where they met Nisrine Chartouny, who is an Engineering Project Manager at Crossrail.

Nisrine Chartouny works for Bechtel and has been working on Crossrail for over 10 years. She joined Bechtel in 2006 and has worked on construction projects around the world, including the US, Qatar and Romania. Bechtel is a sponsor of the Year of Engineering, and have helped produce an Imax movie called ‘Dream Big’ that encourages kids into engineering.

Nisrine said:

“My family is full of engineers, so I always knew that I wanted to be one. People often have an incorrect perception that the industry is all about manual labour, when actually there is a range of roles for everyone. As children begin to think about potential careers between 7 and 12-years-old, this activity book is perfect for starting to teach them about the opportunities.”

Nisrine was joined by the Government Envoy for the Year of Engineering, Stephen Metcalfe.

The number of children travelling by rail peaks during the summer holidays, with around 11 million journeys made every year. The activity book will be handed out at some of the busiest stations around the country before children head on their journeys, including Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh.

It can also be downloaded:

Get the Activity Book

The final challenge in the book is for kids to have a go at designing a train. Children can submit their designs into a competition to win a family trip on the Eurostar to Paris, Disneyland or Brussels.

The book has been jointly funded through an industry partnership, led by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), of Network Rail, Hitachi, Great Western Railway, National Training Academy for Rail, GB Railfreight, Young Rail Professionals, Freightliner, SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins, Rail Delivery Group and Eurostar.

Parents and those looking after children can save money on tickets for journeys this summer. Last year there were 3 million journeys by people using a Family and Friends Railcard. The card, which costs £30, entitles a third off rail fares for 4 adults and 60% off for up to 4 kids aged between 5 and 15. There are also various 2FOR1 offers available for family attractions around the country, such as Legoland, Thorpe Park and London Aquarium.

Notes to editors

The books will be handed out at the following locations:

  • Leeds Station – 25th and 26th July
  • London Kings Cross – 23rd and 27th July
  • London Liverpool Street – 23rd July
  • London Waterloo – 24th and 25th July
  • Birmingham New Street – 26th and 27th July
  • London Paddington – 23rd and 24th July
  • Bristol Temple Meads - 23rd and 24th July
  • Reading Station - 23rd and 24th July
  • Edinburgh Waverley – 27th July
  • Glasgow Central – 27th July

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