Network Rail opens new signalling training facilities in West Midlands
Whilst ensuring that the rail network will continue to operate safely in the future, the new training facilities are also a welcome support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit: Network Rail
Network Rail has announced that it has opened new training facilities in the West Midlands to train railway staff in keeping the rail network running safely.
The signalling simulators, which reflect real-life scenarios that are faced on the railway every day, have been installed at the Walsall training centre and Birmingham New Street Station’s signal box. They are already being used to deliver Network Rail’s 12-week signaller training for new recruits and refresher training for current staff.
The facilities in Network Rail’s North West & Central region were completed ahead of schedule to increase the region’s signaller resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, working with Hitachi Information Control Systems (HICSE).
The operational simulator replicates the type of incidents and experiences that signallers would face on the railway, giving delegates the opportunity to get hands-on, practical experience and test their reactions in a safe environment.
Head of Operations for Network Rail‘s Central route, Martin Colmey, said: “This is an invaluable facility which will train hundreds of future signallers who will help to keep the railway safe and operational for millions of passengers in future. The simulator means our trainees can learn everything they need to know to confidently run the railway in a safe environment. The fact that we can use it now to provide resilience during the ongoing coronavirus crisis is another success from this investment.”
Tim Gray, Managing Director of HICSE, said: “I am really pleased that Hitachi have been able to help Network Rail in keeping the UK railways running for key workers and freight customers and to provide a new training facility for future resilience. This was a brilliant collaboration and I’m grateful for the dedication and innovation shown by the HICSE staff who were involved.”