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Engineering videos help bring Rail life to the classroom

Network Rail has launched a series of educational videos to help teachers promote engineering in the classroom. The 15 videos are available to view on YouTube and each aims to bring to life how all the different aspects engineering helps to keep Britain’s railways running. Viewers will see operations in depots, on track and in laboratories and manufacturing plants to illustrate the challenges in an engaging and informative way. Stories range from how Network Rail controls trains to level crossing design, how rail is manufactured, and what materials are used and how they help build and maintain the tracks.

The videos are part of a wider schools engagement programme including STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), ambassadors, involving our young engineers and technicians in career fairs and events in order to bring what is learnt in the classroom into real life, and show the career options available, and encourage the very best talent to join the rail industry.

Steve Yianni, director, engineering, said: “As an engineer I believe passionately we have a responsibility to support education beyond our own workforce, in schools and colleges, to encourage the next generation to get into engineering and show how it applies in the real world.

“I am deeply concerned that so many young people that we meet at careers events are not really aware of what role engineering plays in every day life and have never considered a career in this field, despite showing a great aptitude for maths and science. We must do all we can to work with educators to address this knowledge gap so we can continue to develop the world’s best and brightest engineering talents.”

The 15 videos range between 2-20 minutes in length and each video is accompanied by teaching challenges provided by the JCB Academy – a university training college in Staffordshire that has worked closely with Network Rail since 2010.The challenges meet the requirements of recognised national qualifications and can be used across a range of educational activities. As well as promoting these videos via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Network Rail will write to schools to help them make the most of these free teaching resources.


Jim Wade, principal, JCB Academy said: “We were delighted to work with Network Rail to develop innovative and exciting curriculum materials. The commitment of Network Rail to producing the engineering leaders of the future has been fantastic and it has been a real pleasure to work with such an innovative and forward thinking company who are so dedicated to inspiring the next generation.”