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Giving young people a taste of a railway career

Friday 13 May 2022

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Train operator CrossCountry collaborated with the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership to provide a railway careers day for young people, with guest appearances from representatives from across the industry.

Educational charity, Smallpeice Trust brought along sixteen Arkwright engineering students to take part in the day which included hands-on activities, in depth talks about trains and engineering, and careers advice, giving the attendees the opportunity to ask anything about the industry.

The day was held at North Hall in Leamington Spa, with CrossCountry’s Head of Fleet and Engineering, Adrian Hugill, leading a talk about his trains and Chiltern Railway’s Head of Production, Sam Sullivan, giving a virtual depot tour and talking about how they maintain their trains.

Community Rail Officer, Julia Singleton-Tasker gave the students a sustainable stations design challenge that included building a bridge out of paper that had to hold a toy family and creating an innovative, environmentally friendly station out of recycling. CrossCountry’s Matthew Worsley who works in the Diagramming team lead an activity where the scholars could have a go at timing a train, providing an insight into how timetables are planned to move trains around the network.

There were also careers talks through the day including a software engineer from Siemens, a CrossCountry employee who came through the graduate programme, train engineers and Thales HR who discussed opportunities within the industry.

Julia Singleton-Tasker, Heart of England Community Rail Officer said, “It's so important to engage and inform students about the opportunities that are open to them within the rail industry. It was a real pleasure to work with CrossCountry and the Smallpeice Trust on bringing together rail industry partners from Chiltern Railways, Thales and Siemens for our Connect Day in Leamington Spa.”

All the students enjoyed the event with all of them saying they learnt something new and many of them would like to do something like it again.

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