Belfast Telegraph

Safety at core of Translink business, St MacNissi's Little Reporters learn

The Translink and Belfast Telegraph
The Translink and Belfast Telegraph "Little Reporters" journalism competition is now in its third year

By St MacNissi's PS Belfast Telegraph, Translink Little Reporters

Safety remains at the heart of all that Northern Ireland public transport provider Translink does.

That's what the P7 pupils of St MacNissi's Primary School in Newtownabbey learned on their 'Little Reporters' experience with the Belfast Telegraph and the public transport provider.

On Wednesday they were given an exclusive tour of the Belfast Telegraph where photographer Kevin Scott explained how pictures made it from his camera to the computer and onto the newspaper, how stories were found and put together by journalists from deputy news editor Claire Williamson and then how the Belfast Telegraph website worked from its deputy digital editor Jonathan Bell.

They were amazed to learn of the many millions that flock to the website on a monthly basis.

The class then moved on to Northern Ireland Railways maintenance depot where train drivers are taught how to drive a train and on what goes into fixing the fleet.

Translink's Ursula Henderson explained how safety was the most important thing to all those that worked at the bus and train transport provider - and how it was important to stand behind the yellow line at every train station.

"Last year we took a record 84.5million passengers and it is vital everyone gets on and off safely," she told the group.

The children won their exclusive tour through the Translink Belfast Telegraph Little Reporters' competition. The P7 kids wrote a piece on why bus and trains are important in Northern Ireland to win the experience.

Noelle asked her mum and brother about why they use the train. Jude wrote about how public transport was crucial for her sister to get to university. And Aoife's father talked of the benefits of the bus and train services.

During their tour of the maintenance depot at Adelaide in south Belfast the children got an exciting look at the train simulator and learned how it took a year to train up a new driver.

They were interested to learn the trains could do 90mph.

In the maintenance area Gareth McMinn explained how each train has three coaches, each weighing 63.4 tonnes and worth around £1milllion.

They also learned the coaches, which were built in Spain in 2012, have 71 seats.

To finish off their day Belfast Telegraph report Brett Campbell helped the children write this very story.

At the end, all the children agreed they had a fascinating time learning about the news and Northern Ireland's public transport network.

"It was great to welcome the pupils to this behind the scenes look at our facilities," said Ursula.

"The kids all had a great time and we look forward to welcoming them onboard in the future - and they may even go on to break the news."

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