The Metro Centre Railway Station has been given a new lease of life after being adopted by the Newcastle College Rail Academy.
The station, which opened in 1987 and is now one of the busiest on the Tyne Valley Line, has been transformed by the change, with the students bringing fresh ideas as to how the station can be made to look more inviting to passengers.
Adopting the station gives the students valuable volunteering experience within the rail sector, helping them widen their skillset by developing key attributes including communication and teamwork.
The “enthusiastic” students have begun by setting up some bird boxes and bug hotels along the platforms to attract wildlife, and they also hope to paint the station fences and design some planters. The group are also actively engaged with the work of the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, and recently attended their Volunteer Conference to speak about the role of the college and the rail courses on offer.
The adoption of the station will be ongoing and will pass to new intakes of students as the previous groups finish their studies, with new groups asked to carry on the work to make the station as attractive as it can be to increase passenger use.
Christine Hepple, work experience coordinator for Newcastle College, said: “The students were taking part in the Key Project (a social action project for young people) and chose to adopt the Metro Centre Station as they were all rail enthusiasts. They wanted to make the station a better place for people to visit. They loved the decoration of the bird boxes and bug hotels, and some students said they will be taking their families along to show what they have begun.”
Marie Addison, Northern’s regional community and sustainability manager (North East), added: “I am so pleased and excited that the Rail Academy are the new station adopters at Metro Centre. I am overwhelmed at the enthusiasm from both students and tutors, with lots of exciting plans for the future. The bug hotels and bird boxes have already made a huge difference to the station.”
For more information on the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, visit tvcrp.org.uk