PRESENTATION ABOUT HIGH SPEED RAIL LINK BY HEALTH AND SAFETY LEADER
In the second week of December Mr Joe Murphy from HS2, who is in charge of health and safety for the construction of the southern end of the new high speed rail link, spoke to our Year 11 students about the challenges, difficulties and opportunities that arise from building the railway line.
Year 11 students learned about the timetable for the construction of the railway line which it is hoped will reach Birmingham in 2026, Crewe in 2027, Leeds and Manchester in 2033. The extension to Scotland will take a further 10 years to complete. Mr Murphy, who is one of our parent governors, enthralled our students with details about the challenges that the construction phase to Birmingham will encounter including exhuming 80,000 bodies (which will then need to be re-buried), purchasing and demolishing houses and digging up existing roads. In all stages of the construction many engineering roles will exist which include designing the electronics that will operate the ticket machines, building the rolling stock, identifying the best route for the rail line, and digging holes to lay pipes and bricklayers to build walls.
He highlighted that there will be 100,000 new jobs in roles including canteen officers, builders, drivers and mechanics as a result of HS2 by 2022 and that this country is short of engineers at all levels to complete this work.
The students then completed a classroom challenge in which they had to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of four possible routes based on recommendations from engineering, economic and sustainability aspects.
Mr Murphy’s talk was enjoyed by all students and staff, and he received a warm round of applause at the end. Many thanks to Mr Murphy for taking his valuable time to come and talk to our Year 11 students, and also to Year 11 who listened well, asked excellent questions and took part in the classroom exercise. Thank you also to Mrs Whitehead, who organised this Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) event, as part of the wider work she is doing to promote and development STEM learning in the school.