On Wednesday, 11 December, 28 pupils from Priory Primary School on Greyfriars, visited the newly reconstructed Bromham Road bridge as guests of Network Rail.
The VIPs were given a site tour and were taught about why the bridge needed to be reconstructed, the benefits of the project and how to stay safe in and around a railway environment.
Pupils were also taught how dangerous it is to trespass on the tracks, particularly in areas with overhead line equipment, which carries 25,000 volts and would have life-changing consequences for anyone coming into contact with it.
Philippa D’Netto, Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail, said: “Safety is our top priority and we wanted to teach the pupils about how to stay safe when using the railway.
“There are big changes happening to the railway in Bedford as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.
“Whilst the electrification of the route from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford will bring significant benefits for passengers, the new equipment which will be used to power the trains carries 25,000 volts of electricity, so we wanted to highlight just how important it is to stay safe.”
Following the visit, the children have been tasked with designing art work which will be installed on the temporary footbridge in the new year.
This will be based on safety information learnt from the site visit.
Paula Wakeling, Acting Head of Priory Primary School, said: “The visit to the Bromham Road bridge site was an amazingly informative visit for our children as it gave them the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge on future career paths as well as giving them time to get hands-on with some unusual equipment.
“They were so excited to be ‘VIPs’ for the day and came back in to school buzzing with information about railway safety and the new bridge structure.”