Novelty barrel train helps keep remote school attendance rates on track in Pilbara – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

VIDEO: It seems impossible, but these kids are getting excited about going to school in the morning. (ABC News)

RELATED STORY: Underprivileged students board community school bus toward academic success

MAP: Telfer 6762

In the remote Pilbara region a train snakes its way through the red dirt and spinifex, but the cargo is not what you would expect.

The Aboriginal community of Punmu, 700 kilometres east of Newman, has converted more than 20 metal drums into train carriages, providing a novelty way of encouraging kids to attend school.

About 40 students go to the local school, which has classes from pre-kindergarten to Year 12.

Punmu co-ordinator John Reudavey said the idea came to him while on holiday in Perth.

“I saw four drums being towed behind a ride-on mower and the parents were paying $2 for the kids to putt around the footy oval, and I just thought ‘What an awesome idea’,” he said.

“Obviously we had to make it more robust because of where we are and the conditions we live in.”

Mr Reudavey said the whole community had jumped on board the idea

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