Armadale Academy

Following on from Robert’s involvement with pupils from Armadale Academy who were tasked with constructing a ‘mobile wagon with a difference’ as part of their second year Design and Make class (in the Craft Design and Technology Department) ESME were delighted to welcome them to our Almondell Model Engineering Centre where the wagons were run on the track.  The pupils were able to see their own wagon successfully operating on the track and later each pupil had the opportunity to drive Robert’s class 27 pulling their train.  Appropriately, the locomotive was in the Scotrail livery with the ‘Scottie’ logo.

To give their project context Robert explained that the railways have a history of producing specialist wagons and gave them some examples.  One of which was the ‘cinema’ coach that during the 1935 was included by the LNER in one of their trains.  British Pathe have a newsreel of it on their website.

The pupils showed a great interest in how railways worked, asking about the working of the points, how the train stayed on the tracks and how the steam engine works.  The ESME members were happy to explain and demonstrate the principles to them.

The visit started by getting on the trains at Drumshoreland Station which then took them around the track, dropping them off at Almondell Central where they were able to operate their wagons.  As ever our photographers were out and the gallery records their visit.

The Class 27

Raising Steam

Wagons on the track

Broadside view

Ready for the off


Off we go


Proud builders


First to go

Us next


Swap places….

Reversing carefully

‘Neee – Naaww’

Busy time

Riding the trains


Keeping busy…

A great project

Birds eye view

Birds eye view…

Everyone gone home
































To watch the video of their visit, click here.  The general consensus was their workmanship was outstanding, the wagons fitted in well with their scale counterparts.

Their CDT teacher Katarina Kennedy worked well keeping the class on track with their designs and improving their practical skills which certainly contributed to the success of the wagons.  They ran on the track with no derailments in either forward or reverse, the latter given that the ‘buffers’ were solid plastic doorstops.  ESME would like to thank Katarina for accepting the challenge with her class and look forward to seeing their efforts next year.
Our invited guest and ESME member, Moira Niven thought the exercise well worth doing as more youngsters need to be encouraged to take up engineering and to that end Robert is keen to see if next year more schools in West Lothian would like to take part in a similar exercise, but with an inter school challenge competition resulting in a winning school.