Isle of Man Railways will, for a second year running, welcome Peter’s Railway author Chris Vine to the Island.
Chris visited several Island schools in 2016 and the trip proved so successful that Isle of Man Railways has invited him back. The Steam Packet Company is supporting the visit by assisting with the costs of travel to and from the Island.
This year Chris will work with five primary schools during a week-long tour in May; Scooil Vallajeelt, Cronk-Y-Berry, Kewaigue, St Mary’s and Braddan.
Each school will be treated to a trip to Douglas railway station, where Chris will give a talk before the children undertake a behind-the-scenes tour of the station to learn about the workshops, carriage sheds, joiners shop and signal box. During the tour Chris will explain how tools and equipment are used, how locomotives work, how carriages are restored and maintained and how signals operate.
Chris will also visit each school to help them construct lengths of tracks, which will be put on display at Douglas railway station during Peter’s Railway Day on 13th May, the culmination of Chris’s visit.
Jeremy Reece, Chief Engineer with Isle of Man Railways, said: ‘The feedback we received following Chris’s visit last year showed he had captivated, educated and inspired the children, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to bring him back.
‘The event is aimed at key stage 2 pupils and will complement a range of curriculum subjects as well as showing the children how a steam railway operates and encouraging their interest in the Island’s own heritage railway networks.
‘We’re also delighted that in addition to working with the schools, there will be an opportunity for the whole community to get involved during Peter’s Railway Day at Douglas Railway Station on Saturday 13th May.
‘We are extremely grateful to the Steam Packet Company for its support, which has helped make this visit possible.’
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘Having seen some of the feedback from the children and school staff who met Chris last year, it’s clear his visit made a huge impact. The visit is organised by Isle of Man Railways at no cost to the schools, so we’re pleased to be able to help bring Chris back so more youngsters can be inspired and educated, and we hope lots of people will join in the fun on Peter’s Railway Day.’
For more information about Peter’s Railway Day call 697475.
Photograph: Peter's Railway author Chris Vine during his visit to the Isle of Man in 2016