Traills on Rails programme for kids

Pupils from Ballyhackett Primary School in Castlerock taking part in the 'Traills on Rails' workshops at Ballylough House in Bushmills.
Pupils from Ballyhackett Primary School in Castlerock taking part in the 'Traills on Rails' workshops at Ballylough House in Bushmills.

Local schoolchildren have had the opportunity to engage and experience the science behind The Giant’s Causeway Tramway (1883-1949).

This was the world’s first hydroelectric tramway and was designed and managed by William and Anthony Traill, two brothers from Ballylough in Bushmills. The pioneering tramway linked Portrush train station to Bushmills and The Giant’s Causeway as well providing access for visitors from Belfast.

Supported by the Royal Society and in partnership with W5 and Ballylough Living History Trust, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museum Services ‘Traills on Rails Programme’ invited Key Stage 2 children from across the borough to Ballylough House to learn more about the role of the Traill brothers and their development of renewable energy.

Workshops were run with eleven schools, giving almost 300 children the opportunity to engage, experience and appreciate the science behind hydroelectricity alongside the history and development of the local area.

Museum Services was one of twelve museums across the UK to be awarded funding as part of the Royal Society’s Places of Science scheme, a grant set up to fund projects to engage communities with their local science stories.

Professor Jonathan Ashmore FMedSci FRS, a neuroscientist at UCL and chair of the Places of Science allocation panel, said: “The Royal Society Places of Science scheme promotes a nationwide exploration of the scientific stories embedded in communities right across the UK. There is a rich scientific landscape in the UK which underpins economies and forms an important source of history, identity and cultural heritage.”