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TITLE
The Classroom Train, 1999 [2]
EXTERNAL ID
NRM_NBNW_FNL_DS080503
DATE OF IMAGE
March 1999
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Lynn Patrick
SOURCE
National Railway Museum, York
ASSET ID
19828
KEYWORDS
railway
railways
education
classrooms
The Classroom Train, 1999 [2]

On board the Far North line travelling classroom train, photographed in March 1999, operated by ScotRail, are school children from Dalwhinnie, along with a member of the ScotRail Staff and an officer from the British Transport Police. They are taking part in a re-enactment of the evictions of the Crofters in the Highlands, during the period which is known as The Clearances.

The ScotRail travelling classroom was the brainchild of Inverness based train driver, Steve Neall. He had been involved in safety exhibitions in the station and had given talks in the local schools on safety on trains and stations. The transfer of these talks on board the train seemed the next logical step. It was found that roughly 80 per cent of the children had never been on a train before, nor had they seen a lot of the area in which they lived.

Once on board the train the emphasis was on heritage and nature. The lessons were delivered by a team of ScotRail staff in partnership with an officer from the British Transport Police. They provided a running commentary on places of historical interest and geographical landmarks - mountains, moors and sea lochs. On board the train were interactive displays, such as a touch table of wildlife exhibits, quizzes and games, drawing and colouring, and the children filled out questionnaires. The rail message for the day was about Rail Safety and the dangers of trespassing on railway land and causing damage through vandalism to the railway and its rolling stock.

The first travelling classroom ran from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and the idea was then introduced on the Far North line where the classroom train catered for older schoolchildren. The Far North line train took the school children from Inverness to Helmsdale. At Helmsdale the children visited 'Timespan' visitor centre where the exhibits enhanced the lessons taught on the train.

Background
Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.

'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.

We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:

Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.

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The Classroom Train, 1999 [2]

1990s

railway; railways; education; classrooms

National Railway Museum, York

North by Northwest - The Far North Line

On board the Far North line travelling classroom train, photographed in March 1999, operated by ScotRail, are school children from Dalwhinnie, along with a member of the ScotRail Staff and an officer from the British Transport Police. They are taking part in a re-enactment of the evictions of the Crofters in the Highlands, during the period which is known as The Clearances. <br /> <br /> The ScotRail travelling classroom was the brainchild of Inverness based train driver, Steve Neall. He had been involved in safety exhibitions in the station and had given talks in the local schools on safety on trains and stations. The transfer of these talks on board the train seemed the next logical step. It was found that roughly 80 per cent of the children had never been on a train before, nor had they seen a lot of the area in which they lived.<br /> <br /> Once on board the train the emphasis was on heritage and nature. The lessons were delivered by a team of ScotRail staff in partnership with an officer from the British Transport Police. They provided a running commentary on places of historical interest and geographical landmarks - mountains, moors and sea lochs. On board the train were interactive displays, such as a touch table of wildlife exhibits, quizzes and games, drawing and colouring, and the children filled out questionnaires. The rail message for the day was about Rail Safety and the dangers of trespassing on railway land and causing damage through vandalism to the railway and its rolling stock. <br /> <br /> The first travelling classroom ran from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and the idea was then introduced on the Far North line where the classroom train catered for older schoolchildren. The Far North line train took the school children from Inverness to Helmsdale. At Helmsdale the children visited 'Timespan' visitor centre where the exhibits enhanced the lessons taught on the train. <br /> <br /> Background<br /> Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.<br /> <br /> 'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.<br /> <br /> We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:<br /> <br /> Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.