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Launching Future Careers and Opportunities in Railways

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VolkerRail completed a construction contract for the Yorkshire Rail Academy to install a fully signalled track layout within their training facility.

Yorkshire Rail Academy

The Yorkshire Rail Academy, established in September 2003, is a partnership initiative between York College and the National Railway Museum. They are working closely with key players in the rail industry to provide training, education and career progression opportunities to all levels.

VolkerRail´s involvement consisted of the manufacture, supply and installation of a permanent way layout to a design commissioned by the client. The units within the assembly form both plain line and switch and crossing constructions, also encompassing a wide and varied range of individual components to provide students with an insight into as many types of track assemblies as possible. To achieve this, a mix of 95lb Bullhead rail, 109 and 113 Flat Bottom rail plain line sections were employed, along with BV 9 ¼ 113A Flat Bottom Switch and Crossing units.

VolkerRail Signalling also provided their professional services through the installation of signalling technology including specialist trackside hardware such as location boxes, insulated rail joints, track circuits, and point motors. The specification was agreed between the system designer and the Project Engineer John Searson to ensure that the maximum number of signalling equipment types and modern technologies could be installed as part of the proposed layout. With the end user in mind and recognising the need for a hands-on approach, VolkerRail subsequently dressed off the whole area with a soft ballast layer to provide a more practical training environment allowing students to maximise their learning experience.

In addition VolkerRail Signalling used the opportunity, whilst installing and testing the integrity of the system, to allow internal trainees to learn the basic skills associated with standard railway installations. In effect, the training facility was providing the benefit from the outset!

The project´s success was down to the close working relationships forged with Yorkshire Rail Academy, supported by the fully integrated approach between VolkerRail Projects and VolkerRail Signalling businesses. Signalling has also committed to providing the necessary skills and support to maintain the site, including future equipment improvements as the client sees appropriate. This relationship will in return see the facilities being used to continually train the skills of future VolkerRail engineers.

The Yorkshire Rail Academy can now offer a dedicated facility for the rail industry - all constructed and equipped to Network Rail induction standard.

The facility was officially opened by Professor Andrew McNaughton, Chief Engineer, Network Rail in February 2008. A range of guests from around the rail industry, government bodies and several VolkerRail staff were in attendance for the prestigious launch.

Congratulations to all involved for their hard work and commitment.

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