Learning environment

Rail transport provides a unique and inspiring learning environment for the Derbyshire school

As part of the Tercentenary celebrations at Richardson Endowed Primary School in the village of Smalley, near Heanor in Derbyshire, rail industry businesses and local businesses have come together to create a unique new learning environment and inspiring for his students.

Porterbrook, the rolling stock owner and asset manager, donated a former first-class InterCity carriage to be used as a new teaching center for students. Network Rail crews from across the East Midlands have helped prepare the ground and lay the track for the carriage to sit on; while education teams at Alstom’s Litchurch Lane factory, where the car was built in 1985, oversaw key internal modifications to optimize it for school use.

The following vendors contributed much-needed products, services or donations to the project;

  • Plaswood, an eco-products supplier based in Heanor;
  • GXO carrier;
  • the rail depot and service company Nemesis;
  • provider of Secure-a-Field fencing and access solutions;
  • railway designers Charles Rayner;
  • sign and print designer Derby Sign and Graphics;
  • engineering firm Clarke Engineering Services;
  • earthmoving and equipment rental experts Aggrecom;
  • furniture specialists Martin & Parker.

The refitted car will provide the school with a library and relaxation area, as well as additional learning space. The horse-drawn carriage will also play a major role in the school’s 300th anniversary celebrations and in teaching STEM subjects.

After the completion of some final work on the train and the construction of a walkway on the platform, it is hoped to officially launch the car on May 13.
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said

“I am delighted that Porterbrook and our industry partners have come together to make this project a reality. I am particularly pleased that car 11088 has found a new home in Smalley, just a few miles from where it was built at Litchurch Lane Works, Derby. It’s only fitting that this retired vehicle now has a new life, telling the story of our railways and inspiring future generations about STEM topics and how Britain’s railways are making travel sustainable.

Steve Hughes, program manager at Network Rail, said

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to support such an interesting project. Railroad cars are built to serve, so when they’re done carrying passengers, it’s great to see them given a new lease of life as unique learning spaces for young people.

“It’s great to see the positive impact this cart can have, especially on such an auspicious occasion, and I want to thank everyone who made the delivery of this project possible, including our colleagues at WP Webbs who supplied the whole factory.”

Kate Mason, principal of the endowed primary school in Richardson, said

“This past year marks our school’s 300th anniversary, so it seems fitting to celebrate a milestone with this incredibly exciting project. I know our children will be delighted with this car, which has been kindly donated and supported by Porterbrook, Network Rail and Alstom and others.

“As the first female principal in the school’s 300 year history, it has long been a passion of mine to provide the children of Richardson Endowed with a unique and inspiring learning space. To see this dream come true is incredible and it is thanks to these great and supportive companies that allow this major project to materialize.

Peter Broadley, MD Services, Alstom UK&I, said

“We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting and interesting project alongside partners in the rail industry, and it is particularly fitting that we are awarded the car’s Litchurch Lane origin.”

“Alstom is passionate about inspiring and enthusing our next generation. Through our commitment to CSR and established school outreach programs, we are proud to champion the vast opportunities of rail and the vital role they will play in building a more sustainable Britain.