Built in 1925, the Downs Light Railway is now over 85 years old and gives pupils at The Downs Malvern a unique opportunity to build, operate and maintain a working steam railway, complete with tunnel, station and points, which stretch for over a quarter of a mile around the school grounds.
As well as the fun and responsibility of driving a passenger-hauling locomotive, the railway gives rise to wider educational opportunities which can be used to provide real applications for work in Maths, Physics, Design Technology, History and Geography, as well as for inspiration in Art and English.
There are numerous ingredients in the make-up of the Downs Light Railway but the most important element of its purpose is the relationship with the children and the volunteers who run the railway, without whom it would never have existed. It is unique and a clear indication of what makes The Downs Malvern so individual and an embodiment of the school’s ethos, as it allows pupils to take on the sort of responsibility they rarely meet in modern life, at the same time as having immense fun.
Witnessing the children blossom as they rise to the challenges that are forever present in keeping the steam railway running efficiently, is something that we all treasure.
For heritage preservation and charity information, please visit The Downs Light Railway Trust.