Young people create railway themed arch at Duffield Station

A new decorative metal archway created by a group of young people has been installed to enhance the entrance to Duffield Station.

The arch has been designed and created by a group of young people studying with Engineered Learning in Derby. Engineered Learning support young people who struggle with mainstream education, by providing them with access to employment skills through fabrication and welding.

L-R: Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, Chair of the Derwent Valley Line CRP; Paul Webster, Support and Development Manager at Community Rail Network; Donna Adams, Community Engagement Manager at EMR; Alastair Morley, Derwent Valley Line CRP; Eric Boultbee, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway; Dan Read, Managing Director at Engineered Learning.

The archway project, developed in conjunction with Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and East Midlands Railway (EMR), provided the young people with the opportunity to take part in a range of activities. As well as learning welding and fabricating skills through Engineered Learning, the group also took part in team building exercises, a rail safety talk, a tour of Derby station, visiting EMR’s train depot and a personal development and careers advice session, which gave the students an insight into potential future industry opportunities. Upon completion of the project, eight of the young people who took part achieved a Level 1 NCFE Award in Industry Specific Engineering Skills.

The students also enjoyed a factfinding train trip on the Derwent Valley Line, with a visit to both the Ecclesbourne Valley and Duffield Railway Stations. This provided inspiration for the creation of the arch, which comprises both heritage steam and modern locomotives, as well as flowers and trees to represent the rural nature of the area.

The young people’s ideas were considered by a group of community and railway stakeholders, with the final design being transformed using Computer Aided Design. The design was then cut into stainless steel and welded into the arch by the young people.

Dan Read, Managing Director of Engineered Learning, said: “For us here at Engineered Learning, this was the perfect project to promote both the use of the railways to young people for leisure access to Matlock via the Derwent Valley Line, as well as wider social mobility.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to create a lasting legacy that they can look back on during their careers. For our disadvantaged young people to be able to display what they have achieved is priceless.”

Paul Webster, Support and Development Manager at Community Rail Network, said: “It is a pleasure to see how students from Engineered Learning have gained practical career and life skills by creating this impressive and lasting legacy for the local community and railway passengers of Duffield to admire.

“We encourage young people to get involved with the rail industry and their local community, so are pleased to have been able to contribute towards this excellent and fulfilling scheme.”

The project was funded by Community Rail Network, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioners Fund, Derwent Valley Line CRP, East Midlands Railway and the Open Gate Trust.

You can watch this short video for further details on the story of the arch. To keep up to date with future projects and events from the Derwent Valley Line CRP, click here.