IMAGINATIVE children have been challenged to design a railway for the future.

Pupils from Over Hall Community School in Winsford are the first to take part in HS2 Ltd’s new education programme which encourages pupils to develop their ideas on what Britain’s future rail network might look like.

In a series of hands-on and interactive challenges, pupils work as a team and put their problem solving skills into practice as they are tasked with designing a railway which meets the needs of the modern day traveller between fictional towns and cities

The workshops focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) subjects and encourage youngsters to plan, design and build a new railway for the future.

Kate Myers, HS2 Ltd’s head of skills, employment and education, said: “For today’s school pupils, HS2 is probably the largest engineering programme that will take place in this country in their lifetime. It’s really important that we capture the significance of that in a compelling and interesting way so pupils understand not just the challenges of delivering a project of this scale, but the benefits and opportunities it will bring now and into the future.

Winsford Guardian:

Pupils from Over Hall Community School in Winsford are among the first to take part in HS2's new education programme to design their own rail network of the future

“We’re introducing pupils to the wide range of diverse career opportunities that HS2 is creating, and inspiring them to think about how they might play a part in this once in a lifetime project.”

With HS2 set to arrive in Crewe in 2027, ahead of the full HS2 route opening in 2033, today’s pupils could help to tackle the UK’s growing engineering skills gap.

The aim of the education programme is to inspire pupils to think about how the STEAM subjects they learn at school could set them on the path to becoming the apprentices, engineers and train drivers of the future.

Clare Watling, deputy headteacher of Over Hall Community School, said:“Our school and other schools across the borough are always trying to find ways to inspire and engage our children in future careers.

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"The workshop was engaging, fun and an informative way to learn more about rail engineering. It was really worthwhile because it encouraged our children to think and discover more about science, technology and engineering.

"These are important subject areas and workshops like this will hopefully inspire our rail engineers of the future. The children loved it and learned so much.”

HS2 is already supporting more than 9,000 jobs with 2,000 businesses already having won work on the project.