Brand-new operational training academy opens in Doncaster by Network Rail and Freightliner

Brand-new operational training academy opens in Doncaster by Network Rail and Freightliner

Network Rail and Freightliner have opened its second Operational Training Academy in Doncaster.

The academy will prepare Freightliner’s freight train drivers for the introduction of in-cab digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line South section.

The academy, funded by Network Rail as part of the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), marks another milestone for both ECDP and Freightliner, with the first academy opening in Ipswich in May and will help northern based employees will receive consistent levels of training in the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) which is being rolled out across the east coast.

The ECDP will see the first introduction of ETCS to an intercity mainline in Great Britain and will, once completed, provide the foundation for the future expansion of digital signalling across the network.

In the first stage, digital signalling is being introduced on the Northern City Line, between Finsbury Park and Moorgate with the scheme progressively rolled out rolled out on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line (between London King’s Cross and the Stoke Tunnels, near Grantham).

Network Rail expect the first trains to operate on the East Coast Main Line using digital signalling technology in 2025, with all improvements expected to be completed by 2030.

Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor, ECDP, at Network Rail, said: “The success of ECDP depends on equipping people with the digital skills needed for ‘next generation’ railway operations. 

“Facilities like these provide an excellent environment for giving drivers the competence and confidence required.  Freightliner continues to be an integral partner in this change programme as we progress towards a railway that is more flexible, reliable, greener and even safer.”

Tim Shoveller, CEO at Freightliner Group/Genesee & Wyoming UK/Europe, said: "The Doncaster Training Academy’s close proximity to Wabtec, where our first-in-class locomotives will be fitted with European Train Control System technology, epitomises our commitment to cutting-edge advancements in rail operations."

Photo Credit: Network Rail

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