Virgin Trains has teamed up with a York-based university to pilot a workshop which it will roll-out to schools across the UK.
The workshop, which aims to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, has been devised in partnership between Virgin Trains, the University of York and York Children’s University.
The pilot, which was held at Virgin Trains’ Talent Academy in York station, was attended by around 60 children and young people, and their families.
Entitled, “The Need for Speed”, it featured hands-on challenges around train design and speed, with classes introducing the science of aerodynamics and levitating trains.
There was also a glimpse of the near-future of high speed train travel on Virgin’s east coast route with a look at the company’s new 140mph Azuma trains which will be introduced from 2018.
Jennie Pitt, People Engagement & Corporate Responsibility Manager for Virgin Trains, said: “We’re committed to supporting communities on the route, and this includes working with schools.
“The workshop was such a success that we will take this to a number of schools across our 936-mile route. We will work with the schools to encourage children and young people to study STEM subjects and hopefully, one day, look towards the rail industry as a potential career option.”
Holly Hennell, acting manager of York Cares, the employee-volunteering charity that manages York Children's University, said: "York CU is all about engaging children in experiences that capture their imagination and inspire dreams for the future, and this workshop certainly seemed to achieve this! It was fantastic to see families learning and having fun together to create the fastest train, made all the more exciting by getting to explore the Virgin Trains Academy!"
About Virgin Trains
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. This includes a major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes. From May 2016, there will be 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
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