EMR supports project to help Nottinghamshire students use train network

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

  • 15 teenagers supported to use rail network
  • Project aims to break down isolation and boost access
  • Students take first train trip, visit Skegness and support Sleaford art project

East Midlands Railway (EMR) has supported a project to help a group of teenagers understand how to use the train network in a bid to break down social isolation and boost access.

The project, which is run in partnership with the National Citizen Service and the Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership, is designed to help students who don’t speak English as their first language to feel confident enough to access the rail network and understand how to navigate around stations.

The Nottinghamshire-based students toured Nottingham station and learnt all about the process of travelling by rail, including learning how to buy tickets, read timetables and find the correct platform.

They were also supported in taking their first train trip, with the group of 15 travelling to Skegness where they tucked into some fish and chips before doing some team building exercises on the beach.

As part of their National Citizenship Service programme, the business students also helped complete some artwork in Sleaford based on the town’s skyline and RAF heritage.

Siavash, 18, who was originally from Iran, said: “I found it really useful and I now have the confidence to travel on a train on my own. The trains are more modern than in Iran and less crowded so better to travel on.”

While Razim, 18, originally from Bangladesh, said being guided through the process has made him more confident to use the train in the future.

He said: “The tour of the station has made me understand how to travel by train safely, learning how to buy a ticket has made me feel more confident. The trains are a lot faster and comfortable to travel on. I would travel by train in the future.”

Kaye Robinson, Community Ambassador at East Midlands Railway, said: “Many of the group have never been on a train before or been to a station, so being a part of a project which helps them to understand how to use the network was very rewarding. Breaking down the barriers which stop people using services such as the railway is so important. We don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed or intimidated when using the rail network.”

Jo Andrews, Poacher Line CRPO, said: “I’m delighted to be able to work with EMR and National Citizen Service to give a worthwhile experience to these students who have never travelled by train. The artwork at Seaford will really brighten up a run down area and I’m really pleased the students could help us achieve this.”