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Wed May 18 2022

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Train to school

17 Nov 21 Here’s a new take on modular building space.

This old train carriage is now a school room at Upshire Primary School
This old train carriage is now a school room at Upshire Primary School

A primary school in Essex has got two old railway carriages to provide cheap and cheerful extra classroom space.

The decommissioned carriages were lifted into the playground at Upshire Primary Foundation School in Waltham Abbey, Essex, at the end of October and are now undergoing a six-month refurbishment project to transform them into a classroom and a library.

The project has been made possible by joint work between the school, train leasing company Porterbrook, Modular Building Consultants, Network Rail and Taziker, who together provided project management, planning, design and groundworks.

Porterbrook charged the school just a nominal fee for the carriages, which used to run on the King's Cross to Edinburgh line. 

Modular Building Consultants has project managed the installation on behalf of Upshire Primary Foundation School since November 2020, also taking on the role of principal contractor.

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Taziker provided services to enable the carriages to be installed on site, removing fencing for access, preparing the ground, building shuttering and steel reinforced cages, and installing rails ready for the carriages to be delivered.

Taziker senior project manager Andrew Clow said: “Our operatives on site have been so enthusiastic and they’ve worked incredibly hard to get this work completed ready for the train carriages to be delivered.”

Jeremy Cox, Network Rail programme manager for Anglia, said: “This was a very challenging project but that’s what engineering is all about.  We were very pleased to be able to provide support with project management, materials, design and engineering expertise to make the plans a reality.  Our staff used volunteer days to enable the project to come to life and provide the children with the additional learning space that they were lacking.”

Modular Building Consultants commercial manager Claire Kirby said: "This is not a typical project that we undertake, however we are always up for a challenge.  We have been astounded by the interest this project has generated in the local community, and the generosity of organisations involved in this project. “

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