On 27th September 2023, Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., hosted industry leaders celebrating the official opening of its second Operational Training Academy, located in Doncaster Frenchgate Centre. The Operational Training Academy will prepare Freightliner’s freight train drivers for the introduction of in-cab digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line – South.
The academy, funded by Network Rail as part of the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), marks another milestone for both Freightliner and ECDP as the second location dedicated to upskilling of drivers on European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) operations. The site’s location further promotes Freightliner’s investment in its northern operations.
Commenting on the significance of the academy’s location, Tim Shoveller, CEO at 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, epitomizes our commitment to cutting-edge advancements in rail operations.”
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.”
On 2nd May 2023, Freightliner opened its Ipswich Training Academy to serve its south based employees. The opening of this new Training Academy in Doncaster will ensure northern based employees receive consistent levels of training. Beyond its role in training, Freightliner envisions these academies as spaces for fostering connectivity and collaboration among ECDP colleagues.
During the opening event, attendees were encouraged to learn more about the ERTMS programme from team members on and through various learning tools, including the ultra-light simulators, which guests were encouraged to try out.
To learn more about ERTMS and the East Coast Digital Programme, visit: https://ertms.freightliner.co.uk/
Image credits: Freightliner