Start of main content
Age Range: 7-11 | 5-7
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • Maths

Network Rail maths challenge

A maths-based challenge to find stations on the rail network based on their journey times

Can you use a rail network map to find stations based on journey times? Use your math skills to complete our station hunt activity sheet in this fun STEM challenge for kids!

This is one of a series of free resources developed in conjunction with Network Rail to develop understanding and skills in key maths, science, and engineering concepts.

Activity: Network Rail maths challenge

In this fun maths challenge, learners will use a known starting position (station) and a journey time to identify a destination. It will involve adding different combinations of journey times to identify the answer.

This activity could be carried out as individuals or in pairs and could be used as a one-off main lesson activity to develop basic maths skills in context.

Learners will complete the questions on the activity sheet using the station hunt map as a guide. They should find the starting point station and move along the rail lines, adding up the time as they go along, until they reach their destination station.

The transport speeds are estimates based on typical values, found using the most common search engine. Any statistics or data on transport speeds used in this activity are solely for the purpose of this activity and may not be an accurate reflection of actual current times, which may vary due to seasonal, environmental or legal limitations, for example.

Additional complexity could be added by adding a set time (for example, 15 minutes) when train changes are needed.

As an extension activity, students could work out their own journey time questions and try them on their friends.

How long will this activity take?

This activity will take approximately 30-50 minutes to complete.

Tools/resources required

  • Pencils
  • Calculators

The engineering context

Calculating times is a vital skill that engineers use – it helps them make decisions about the best way to complete a task. For example, it helps aerospace engineers plan how much fuel to carry on a plane to allow it to fly for a long time.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity students will be able to solve a contextual problem using a time calculation and they will understand how to calculate different journey times between rail stations.

Download the free Network Rail maths challenge activity sheet below!

All activity sheets, worksheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

Related resources