Great Western Railway / NSP

Young Great
Westerners Online Hub

Recapturing the magic of train journeys to create a wonderful online destination.

The Challenge

Along with it’s major rebranding, train and network operator Great Western Railway wanted to explore and develop a unique way to reach out to young travellers. It wanted to build on it’s rich and enviable heritage, and at the same time re-energise the tired and sometimes negative image of rail travel. This was also an opportunity to create something meaningful, with educational value and word-of-mouth currency for the broad family audience.


Game design

“... a first in it’s scale and commitment of providing a primarily digital experience for the classroom and the home.”

The Solution

Working with the National Schools Partnership we created the digital components of the Young Great Westerners campaign, to deliver an initiative that reconnected pupils with the magic of the railways. This consisted of an online hub and the core games within it. The YGW hub featured tailored user journeys and content for families, pupils and teachers, from inspiring day-out guides and route planning, to educational resources and classroom tools. Run the Railway is a fun and carefully structured game that explores what it takes to manage a rail network, including the real life people, actual challenges, and surprising events involved. The game design is based on STEM and ‘Flip’ learning, as well as extensively tested with teachers to ensure curriculum relevance and appeal. Each game mechanic encourages team work, interaction and activity away from the screen, and include ‘Stretch’ options.

The Outcomes

Young Great Westerners is a first in it’s scale and commitment of providing a primarily digital experience for the classroom and the home. The resultant campaign was able to breathe new life into the concept of rail travel, and inspire young travellers to explore renowned destinations. It also gives teachers, pupils and parents a playful and memorable experience that cleverly weaves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths learning, that both challenges and amuses. The rich history of GWR is expressed along with the complexities of a modern rail network. Now in it’s second year, plans are in development to introduce additional game activities and content.