The Railway Children

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Gail Godwin said that “Good teaching is ¼ preparation and ¾ theater” and we at Badri High School work towards making information come to life.

The class 7 students are currently studying the novel “The Railway Children by E.Nesbit”. Keeping that in mind we planned a trip to “The Karachi Cantonment Railway Station” to let the students learn about trains and the working that takes place at a train station.

The group of 45 students set off at around 11:00 am on Tuesday 4th September 2018 in a coaster. With the chanting and laughter we reached the Cantt Station at around 11:35 am were the Station Manager, Mr. Mohammad Rafiq Baloch, greeted us warmly and answered the children’s queries one by one.

The manager informed the students about the 8 platforms at the Cantt Station where about 2000 passages daily come to Karachi and 2000 travel to the north of Pakistan.

He explained that the Cantt Station is one of the busiest stations of the country. Then he invited the students to wait in the Waiting Room as a Teez Gam was about to arrive and we had to visit that train.

We were amazed to see an enormous room spot clean with all the necessary facilities required for passenegrs to sit and wait for his/ her train to arrive. Students asked the station manager why they didnt allow the passengers to use the room but he couldn’t reply.

Next, we crossed the bridge to platform Number 4 where we climbed on to the Business Class carriage of the train. The students were excited as a cool breeze blew when the door opened. The manager showed them that each compartment had 6 berths and one washroom. He allotted 6 students one compartment and let them experience how it felt. The students were enjoying themselves when we were asked to move to the area where the engine was.

In groups of 4 the students climbed to the engine room were the engine driver answered all their queries. He also showed the students how brakes are pulled and the students rang the loud horn. However, climbing down was a scary experience.

Then we experienced how the tracks get changed automatically. We saw how an engine is attached to a boogie and how it moves to the cleaning area to get cleaned before the next trip. Then the manager arranged for us to learn first-hand how the control tower gives signals and how they tell the driver and the passengers about the train which is about to leave. We stood on the bridge and saw the train leave and counted the boogies to see if they were 18 or more.

We learned a lot about trains and this experience will really help the students to understand the setting and plot of the novel as they will now be able to understand how the three children felt and experienced every day they visited the railway station.

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