Success for school railway designers

By Michael Upton | 20/07/2010 0 comments

Success for school railway designers

BUDDING engineers from two Rotherham schools are on track for success after scooping prizes in a contest to find the designers of the future.

Youngsters from Swinton Community School and Dinnington Comprehensive School were among the top performers at the Northern Rail Engineering Challenge after designing and building of 21st century train carriages.

A team of three students from Swinton Community School won the overall runners-up award after being praised by a panel of judges for their “true technical ability, attention to detail and their fantastic environmentally-friendly design.”

Team member  Sam Oliver (15) said: "We really enjoyed the project and working as a team and we've even been coming in during our school holidays to get it finished.

“We've even designed some special features like curved seats, a glass roof and an self-cleaning toilets.

“I'm looking forward to a getting a job in design and engineering.”

Dinnington Comprehensive School scored the Best Customer Idea award, with a team of just one boy—15-year-old Ben Colman—who wowed judges with his “enlightened design of a wheelchair ramp which has the potential to change rail travel for disabled customers.”

A delighted Ben said that he was really interested in all aspects of engineering, especially the heavy engineering involved with trains.

“I really enjoy coming up with ideas and putting them into practice, but my favourite part is getting in the workshop building the design,” he said.

Northern Rail and the Young People's Enterprise Forum (YPEF) challenged youngsters from across Yorkshire to show off their engineering skills by creating a detailed scale model of a 'next generation' carriage, using innovative customer service ideas and up-to-the-minute engineering standards.

The pupils have also won a one-month unlimited rail pass for all Northern trains.
Steve Barnett, teacher at Swinton School, said: “For the students to be able to work with Northern Rail on a live project like this was a great opportunity and they've done incredibly well.”


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