Skills and cooperation – the railway is planning for the future

October has been an astonishingly busy month in the UK railway, lots of great work is being done including on some strategic issues that do not always get the profile compared to day-to-day operations.

I was delighted to arrange for the Secretary of State for Transport to come and visit Alstom’s new industrial site at Widnes for the first time to launch the Alstom Academy for Rail that will be providing training for our apprentices, our workforce and indeed the wider railway workforce from next year.

Following that were the openings of the 2 National College for High Speed Rail sites in Doncaster and Birmingham.  At the latter my 4 year old daughter and her couple of school friends came along with me – to see the now famous pink train and try out some of the excellent kit that the College has.  The photos give a flavour of these 3 events…

And now today (on the cooperation front) has been the launch by the Rail Delivery Group of the Partnership Railway campaign which has brought together all elements of the UK railway – you can find out more here: http://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk

Of particular interest to me is the economic research and analysis behind this which makes an extremely strong case for the value of the railway – significant value that covers a huge number of broad social, economic and environmental benefits.  It is well worth a read and reflection on the bigger picture here…

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