Children’s events set to inspire next generation of engineers

Children’s events set to inspire next generation of engineers

With the railway industry predicted to face critical skills shortages in the coming years, Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has teamed up with a leading children’s author to inspire young people about future jobs in engineering.

The man behind the popular Peter’s Railway series of children’s books, Christopher Vine, is hoping to keep the talent on track with two ‘Young Engineers’ Days’ at the beloved Cumbrian railway on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 April.

Writer and Chartered Engineer Chris will meet with a group of youngsters aged four upwards on both days for ‘behind the scenes’ tours of the engineering workshop at Ravenglass to piece together how a steam engine operates.

The hands-on experience will give the children a chance to pull the levers in the signal box and enjoy a trip up the sidings on the footplate. They’ll then move across to Ravenglass Railway Museum for an interactive story time with the author about ‘The Picnic Train’, before having the chance to head up one of England’s oldest and longest narrow gauge railway lines for themselves. 

Chris Vine says, “Since being a very small boy, I’ve always loved everything mechanical, especially steam engines. My first workshop was in my bedroom where I made an electric go-kart aged 8, followed by a mini-bike powered by the engine from a petrol lawn mover!

“Although I’m a Chartered Engineer, my great interest has always been railway, steam engines and in particular, model engineering. The Peter’s Railway books are a result of this and I want to continue sharing my love and knowledge of railways and engineering with the next generation”.

Stuart Ross, General Manager (Visitor Experience) at the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, adds, “We’re really looking forward to hosting these events and getting children interested in what goes on at a heritage railway from an early age. It’s fascinating stuff and there is also a serious point behind this, as the industry needs to keep uncovering new talent if it’s to develop and thrive in the future.”

The Young Engineers’ Days will run from 10am on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 April, with free time in the afternoon to travel up the line (departing Ravenglass at 1.50pm and returning at 3.10pm).

Tickets include a Peter’s Railway book for each child and a return railway ticket, plus biscuits and a carton drink for the Picnic Train. Adults £20 and children £25. Children must be accompanied by an adult and tickets must be booked online in advance.

There’s also more family fun at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, with an Easter Egg hunt from Friday 7 to Monday 10 April. Children can complete the special quiz sheet as they travel up and down the line, before exchanging it for a chocolate treat at the main ticket offices.



Notes to Editors: 

For more information, contact: Heather Sewell, / 07795 487003.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is a family-owned business operating one of the oldest and longest narrow-gauge railways in England, on the Western Coast of the Lake District. Affectionately known as La’al Ratty, the railway is surrounded by stunning views and walks and is based in Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park.