Educational resources for children

Educational resources for children

Published 10 March 2021 | Average read time
8 min read
Stories Industry-leading

We’re always eager to tell young people about all the exciting learning opportunities the railway has to offer. Here are some useful materials to help them explore

TV’s Maddie Moate

Using Data on the Rail Network online game  

The online using data on the rail network game encourages children to develop their problem-solving skills. In this game you will answer questions about railways, data and information.  

On your journey, each correct answer will gain a code number. At the end of the game, you will use these numbers to crack a codeword, so try and collect them all!  

Play the online game here.

Connecting the Railway online game 

How would you build a new railway to join the residents of the town to a city?  

Your task is to choose the best route through all the obstacles, thinking about how your choice will affect the company, environment and community. 

Play the new online game here:

Engineers face lots of challenges – can you solve the problems we face in building new railway?

Colouring in

A colouring in sheet of a steam train going over the Ribblehead Viaduct with flowers and insects in the foreground.
Colour in the Ribblehead Viaduct!

We’ve created a new colouring book of some of our favourite parts of the railway for adults and children.

Grab your pencils and explore the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Forth Bridge, Birmingham New Street, and more!

Download the colouring book

Here’s another colouring in exercise – all about our special recycling facility. On the railway, we recycle a huge amount of waste. This helps us stop 94% of it ending up in landfill!

This colouring in page shows some of our team hard at work helping to reduce our impact on the environment.

Download the recycling activity

A colouring in page of railway workers with a differ in the background.

New activities launched on World Environment Day 

For World Environment Day, we created new environmental resources to inspire and educate children to look after the environment. 

These resources aim to improve children’s understanding of the natural environment and its relationship with the railway. 

Elliot the Environmentalist - online activity book 

The online activity book, Elliot the Environmentalist, helps young children to learn about the different types of nature found near the railway and how we look after the environment.  

Elliot the Environmentalist

The book is full of puzzles and interactive games, encouraging children to learn more about the living world and how Network Rail protects, maintains and enhances the environment.

Caring for our Environment – online game 

The online environmental sustainability game, Caring for our Environment, challenges children to think why caring for our environment is important. The game allows children to test their knowledge against a wide range of topics including climate change, energy and wildlife.  

The interactive element of the game encourages children to develop their problem solving skills to tackle everyday environmental challenges on the railway and understand the need for different types of environmental roles – inspiring them to consider an environmental rail career: 

A look at our brand-new Caring for our Environment online game for kids

Learning pack

School pupils doing educational activities at the Big Bang Fair.
Learning activities at one of the annual Big Bang fairs

We have created a pack of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning resources and activities to help parents juggle work and home schooling.

Originally created with employees in mind, the material has been modified for use by all to help keep children educated and occupied and encourage youngsters to take a greater interest in STEM subjects.

Download the pack

The STEM pack includes tasks and activities aimed at children aged between five and 16, and there are links to the railway so that participants can better understand the industry their parents work in.

With safety at the heart of everything Network Rail does, one of the tasks requires children aged between five and eight to watch an animated clip showing electricity being used and identify any safety-related issues. Another task, suitable for all ages, requires participants to register for a Leaders Award that asks them to identify any problem that could be fixed with an engineering solution, inspiring them to start thinking like an engineer.

Awesome Railways

We think trains and railways are awesome, and that’s why we need girls and boys at school today to learn about science, maths and technology (STEM) – so that you can help us to invent and design the railways of the future.

Our free downloads have fun facts for children. Find out more here.

Cartoon-style characters of railway workers with a railway in the background.

Stay Safe with Thomas

Front page of the special Thomas and Friends story, Stay Safe with Thomas.

Network Rail and Thomas the Tank Engine have joined together to help young children learn about staying safe around the railway. This is the first time a Thomas and Friends™ book has covered a rail safety theme.

In this new book, Thomas goes on an exciting adventure around railway tracks, stations and level crossings and he learns that staying safe is much more important than going fast or being silly! Click here to download a free copy of the book.

My Skills My Life personality quiz

Discover your personality type and see how your skills match up to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Connect with real people in STEM careers who have the same personality type as you.What do they do? What do they earn? How did they get there?

My skills my life website

Headshot of Emily Pollard, an asset engineer, in front of Blackfriars Bridge and the River Thames.
Could you be an engineer like Emily Pollard? Take the quiz.

Emily the Engineer activity book

Emily the Engineer activity book in a cardboard box of books.
Download the activity book (right)

Network Rail and industry partners have created the Emily the Engineer activity book for children.

It’s full of puzzles and quizzes and follows the character of Emily the engineer on her rail adventures – seeking to spark children’s imaginations and inspire them to consider a career in engineering.

Emily the Engineer activity book

More activities to download

Let’s get making! Here are some fun, free and family-friendly activities to keep kids busy and minds sharp. Engineers make the impossible possible every day by thinking creatively to solve problems, and this is just a little taster…

Primary school resources

Colouring in sheet of the hazards to spot at a railway station.
Our downloadable lesson plans include activities that teach children about danger on the railway

Click through to this page to find lots more educational materials for primary school pupils. Education about rail safety at Key Stages 1 and 2 (Scotland P1 to P6) provides safety awareness to young people in their early years.

We have worked closely with teachers and students to develop resources that will help you to run fun, interactive activities that match different curriculum areas and deliver Ofsted requirements of PSHE teaching.

We encourage you to use the resources on this page to raise awareness of electrification on the railway, level crossings and railway safety. They include lesson plan activities and presentations.

Film – All Change

Watch this film to find out why the railway is for everyone and about some of the surprising jobs around Britain:

Read more: