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School pupils to work on Loughborough rail bridge

School children are to help design a rail bridge over the Midland Main Line in Leicestershire.

The group of young people from Charnwood College, Limehurst Academy and Woodbrook Vale High School will work with a range of organisations to create a model for the scheme at Loughborough.

Heritage line Great Central Railway will use this to build the real crossing over the existing track.

The Bridge to the Future project, being carried out in conjunction with Network Rail, will give students hands-on experience of the roles science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) play in railway design.

During an eight-week programme, students will learn how to:

  • complete ecological and wildlife surveys
  • test ground stability through geotechnical surveys
  • obtain planning consent
  • plan, design and build embankments and bridges
  • calculate costs, and
  • understand the complex processes involved in improving and maintaining the rail network

Education secretary and local MP Nicky Morgan said: “The project brings together two of my great passions: encouraging more young people to study STEM subjects, and ensuring more of them leave school with the skills and experiences that employers value.

“These two things are crucial if we want more young people to have the chance to fulfil their potential and succeed in life.”

Network Rail route delivery director Richard Walker said: “This is a hugely exciting project which gives a real insight into the diverse, interesting, challenging and rewarding railway careers, in engineering and associated disciplines.

“It also gives us a great opportunity to preserve the heritage rail network, and promote the works we do to make the rail network better for everyone.”

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