As part of British Science Week 2015, Network Rail Paddock Wood opened their doors to 31 children from Horsmonden Primary School to learn all about the railway and how Network Rail is continually working to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the railway, as part of a new initiative from the British Science Association; Behind the Scenes of British Science.

The scheme aimed to throw open the doors of Britain’s most fascinating science, technology and engineering locations, operation sites, and laboratories, allowing us rare access to get up close to the science, technology and engineering happening in our communities.

On their visit to Paddock Wood, the children discovered the science behind rail and track maintenance and how Network Rail ensures our rail services are safe and reliable. The children were also given an overview of how we might be travelling by rail in 30 years’ time. Many of the children left Paddock Wood proudly stating that they would love to be engineers in the future!

Miss Allen, a teacher at Horsmonden Primary School, said “It was a brilliant opportunity for our students to learn how the railway works and the science behind it. It was also great to get the students to think about the safety aspect and how much work goes into making the railway safe and reliable. They enjoyed thinking about how they might be travelling in 30 years’ time and how they might be part of the team that works on making this happen. We had no idea that all this work was happening in Paddock Wood!”

Glenn Scarborough, Workforce Development Manager at Network Rail, said “We were delighted to be part of Behind the Scenes of British Science, we have been keen to have schoolchildren visit Paddock Wood for a long time, but have not been able to organise it ourselves, so being part a national initiative was such an excellent opportunity. I think both the staff and kids had a great day and learnt so much about railway safety and the future of railway travel.”

Network Rail Paddock Wood boasts a large internal track area and a 150-metre external track, level crossings, signalling equipment and many interesting rail artefacts. Network Rail run eleven maintenance training centres like Paddock Wood across the UK, with 110 trainers who are all former maintenance workers themselves.