NCHSR: The possibilities are limitless

The National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) has been gifted with a brand-new lab dedicated to surveying and scanning technologies designed to further strengthen the next generation of engineers. RTM’s Luana Salles reports.

The facilities at the brand-new NCHSR will get a major boost to its surveying technologies as part of a new dedicated lab.

As a result of an in-kind gift from Californian company Trimble, the NCHSR’s two campuses in Doncaster and Birmingham will be able to expand their training and research into railway design, construction and maintenance, as well as more fully integrate the technological tools across their curricula.

The lab will feature a range of equipment including robotic surveying systems, 3D laser scanners, general construction lasers, theodolites and automatic levels, GIS mapping receivers, and Global Navigation Satellite System receivers – as well as a variety of software for scanning and 3D modelling. It is expected to benefit six departments across the college’s programme: track and civil engineering; infrastructure; power; control command and communication; and rolling stock.

In the civil engineering course, for example, which offers a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship qualification, students will be able to learn how to establish dimensional control by surveying and setting out a range of labour, plant and materials.

Broadening the college’s capabilities

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the NCHSR, who sits on RTM’s Editorial Board, argued the possibilities of the Trimble Technology Lab “are limitless.”

Potential applications of the technologies range from the as-built survey documentation for railway track and maintenance and surveying stakeout, to 3D scanning of tunnels, stations and services along the track corridor.

They will also aid with track clearance, design and sharing of 3D structural railway building models, digital fabrication of custom lab equipment, management and analysis of linear projects, and construction resources optimisation and scheduling to reduce costs.

“As students and faculty across our campuses have access to these latest technologies – surveying, 3D building modelling, performance analysis and digital fabrication – NCHSR will broaden its capabilities to pioneer technical excellence to produce a new generation of highly-skilled professionals to lead Britain’s future rail industry,” Mowbray added.

Ron Bisio, vice president of Trimble Geospatial, said the new lab will allow the next generation of rail apprentices and engineering professionals to experience “the latest technologies with a specific focus on high-speed rail applications.”

“We also look forward to supporting and learning from these new professionals as they apply our solutions to real-world applications in their curricula,” he continued. “We believe these tools will play an important role in creating a centre of excellence for the high-speed rail sector in the UK.”

Both of the NCHSR campuses opened their doors in October last year, with each boasting a maximum capacity of 1,200 learners a year. Since its much-anticipated inauguration, the NCHSR has been shortlisted for a coveted Collaborative Working accolade at the UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA), which Mowbray considered a testament to the team who “have worked tirelessly to share the vision of the college with a wide community of businesses, civil servants, existing and potential new learners.”




There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

Rail Technology Magazine fuels the Northern Powerhouse with official partnership

21/11/2018Rail Technology Magazine fuels the Northern Powerhouse with official partnership

Cognitive Publishing, the home of leading rai... more >
Towards railway-specific, bearer-independent communication

17/09/2018Towards railway-specific, bearer-independent communication

Freelance transport journalist Lesley Brown&n... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Year with brand-new infrastructrure to... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >
Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >