The first centre of its kind in the country, the Basingstoke railway training and development campus opened this week.
It is the result of a continuing alliance – formed in 2012 to provide a better train service for passengers – between Network Rail and train operating company South West Trains.
Staff from Network Rail and South West Trains will work together under one roof at the new campus, which has the capacity to train 220 people every day and offers an extensive variety of training programmes.
It took 18 months to build and features 50m indoor and 120m outdoor track layouts, train driving simulators, as well as educational space to provide learning environments for railway engineers, signallers, maintenance staff and drivers.
The Basingstoke campus will also be home to the new Route Operations Centre, which will eventually operate all signalling and infrastructure for the Wessex route network.
The joint operational control centre for the route is currently based at London’s Waterloo station, with Network Rail and South West Trains teams working side by side to safely manage over 1600 train services a day and ensure that a reliable and efficient service is delivered for more than half a million passenger journeys every day.
John Halsall, Network Rail managing director for Wessex Route, and Tim Shoveller, managing director for South West Trains, formally opened the Basingstoke Route Operations and Training Centre on Monday 2 November. They were joined by staff from Network Rail and South West Trains, as well as local stakeholders and partners who have played a crucial role in delivering the new campus, including BAM Construction and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
"Our investment in the Basingstoke campus provides world-class, 21st-century training facilities, enabling us to modernise and upskill our people so they can deliver a safer, more efficient railway for passengers as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan." John Halsall
"We run one of the busiest railways in Europe with over half a million journeys every day, and our alliance with Network Rail is absolutely vital in ensuring we can continue to provide the services our passengers rightly expect – both today and in the future.
Highly trained, motivated and rewarded staff are an important part of this alliance and the Basingstoke campus will be at the centre of this for years to come." Tim Shoveller
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.