Bondholder East Midlands Trains is providing the opportunity for school children to experience train travel.
The scheme called -Try the Train day' is aimed at giving young people the confidence and skills required to travel independently in the future as well as introducing them to the railway and how to keep safe at stations.
Working alongside North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, East Midlands Trains has piloted a new learning scheme at their Training Academy in Derby.
Pupils from Abbey Hill School and Watermill School in Stoke on Trent took part in 'Try the Train day' in March. The school children, who have learning difficulties, travelled from Blythe Bridge to Derby where they were given a tour of Derby station and had the opportunity to learn about keeping safe whilst in a train station.
The school children were then taken over to the East Midlands Training Academy, where they had the opportunity to try out the driver simulator that is used to train drivers within in a safe learning environment.
They also had the opportunity to learn about a career in the railway by spending time with the East Midlands Trains Talent Team. They were taught interview skills and how to write a CV.
‘Try the Train day’ has many benefits; from boosting independence and helping with self confidence, to giving the children the opportunity to experience travelling by train. This gives them more ways to travel now and in the future.
Donna Adams, Stakeholder & Community Rail Manager for East Midlands Trains said: “Try the Train day is a great way to break down the barriers within train travel.
“The children really enjoyed the day, the train simulator went down very well and we are looking forward to being able to invite more local schools along to Derby station and to The Academy to learn more about train travel, railway careers and gain skills that they can use in the future to aid an independent life”.