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New rail training centre for the north west tackles OLE skills gap

A new state-of-the-art rail training centre exclusively focused on overhead line electrification (OLE) has opened in Greater Manchester in an effort to address the skills shortage across the industry.

The training hub is the first of its kind in the north, featuring a twin-track replica of the West Coast Main Line including flat bottom rail, bullhead rail, third rail, wooden timbers and concrete sleepers.

It will provide the basis for training on all aspects of OLE in a “safe and modern” indoor classroom environment, while also offering other NSARE-certified courses covering track safety and safe working.

Disciplines are delivered by trainers with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of railway training, such as personal track safety, auxiliary operating duties, safe system of work planner, authorised person, nominated person and OLEC.

The Salford centre was created to help meet the growing need for qualified linesmen to deliver electrification projects across the UK. More than 10,000 people are expected to be trained by 2020.

Although it was intended to meet Network Rail’s £25bn of CP5 infrastructure investment, it is a private investment by ISS Labour, part of diversified recruitment group Specialist People Services and a supplier to major rail contractors. It has just finished track-lowering works in Box Tunnel near Bath, for example, as part of the Great Western Electrification Programme.

Simon Higgens, ISS Labour’s CEO, said: “As part of its ongoing investment work to support rising demand for Britain’s rail services, Network Rail is electrifying hundreds of miles of track across the country. Clearly this creates long-term demand for skilled engineers to carry out this specialist work.

“The investment in our new state-of-the-art training centre is part of our focus on serving the OLE needs of the industry. It enables us to upskill our own workforce, meeting the needs of our OLE customers, and also to provide an in-demand training service for external customers working across the industry.”

According to the company, it is working alongside employers to offer railway engineering and overhead line apprenticeship schemes.

Places are still available in the training centre. To find out more, call 0161 743 4497.


OLEMI   04/12/2015 at 13:20

using an adjustable spanner?

Kieran   07/12/2015 at 12:51

When will the telephone be answered?

Amir Khan   17/08/2017 at 17:44

i would like too learn a railways course thank you

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