The railway in Yorkshire offers a great day on the tracks, covering a whole host of subjects across the national curriculum.
Itinerary: Steam Engines
Provider: Kirklees Light Railway
Subjects: History, Technology, Geography, English, Maths and Science
An educational visit to the Kirklees Light Railway in Yorkshire provides plentiful opportunities for children to develop their skills in a number of curriculum subjects and topics, whilst having their enthusiasm well and truly ignited in a unique environment.
10 – 10.15am: Arrive at the Kirklees Light Railway’s Clayton West Station where a member of staff will greet you and organise the storage of packed lunches and direct children to the toilets before their train journey.
10.15am – 10.30am: Start boarding the hand-painted wooden carriages of the unique narrow-gauge steam train, which will take you on your three-and-a-half-mile journey through the Pennine foothills to Shelley Station.
10.30am – 10.50am: With a whistle and a puff of smoke, you will depart Clayton West Station and begin your 25-minute journey. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to take in the scenery of the west Yorkshire countryside, travelling through both agricultural and industrial land, in the shadow of the towering Grade II listed Emley Moor Transmitting Station. The railway can provide ‘spot the’ sheets for the children to complete on their journey.
10.50am: Arrive at Shelley Station and alight the train.
10.50am – 11am: Watch the engine driver and guard uncouple the engine and turn it 180-degrees on the hand-operated turntable. If time allows, the children may wish to ask the driver and guard questions about their roles or the engines.
11am: Board the train for the return journey to Clayton West Station.
11.05am – 11.25am: Enjoy the return journey to Clayton West Station, this time the children will be prepared for the journey through the 467m Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel, which is the longest tunnel on any 15-inch narrow-gauge line in Great Britain.
11.25am: Arrive at Clayton West Station and alight the train.
11.25am – 11.35am: Time for a quick trip to the toilet for the children before lunch.
11.35am – 12.15pm: Depending on the time of year, you may wish to take your packed lunches outside to eat in the large dedicated picnic areas. If the weather is a little on the dull side, a dedicated indoor space will be provided for lunch.
12.15pm – 12.20pm: Now it’s time to split the children into three groups for the upcoming activities.
12.20pm – 12.45pm: Group A visit the Engine Shed where the smells of a steam railway come to life. One of the railway’s friendly, knowledgeable staff members will introduce the children to the railway’s collection of steam engines, delve into the basics of how a steam engine works and the look at the ingredients needed for steam-powered locomotives; navigating through fossil fuels and bygone local industries along the way.
Group B visit the train-themed outdoor adventure playground, allowing them to let off some steam, after their exciting morning. In the event of inclement weather, indoor learning activities will be provided by the railway staff.
Group C will visit the ‘little train’, a 7 ¼ inch ground-level train which runs around Clayton West duck pond for two loops of the track. If they’re lucky, the children may even spot some wildlife on the way around, featuring ducks, herons, newts and owls living on site to list a few.
12.45pm - 1.30pm: Groups will rotate twice to experience all of the activities.
1.30pm – 2.00pm: The opportunity for children to visit the toilets and gift shop should they wish to purchase a souvenir of their day with the trains.
2pm – 2.15pm: Time to say goodbye to the railway staff as teachers and children make their way back to the coach ready for departure back to school.