NX-tremely quick turnaround

April 22, 2020

Temporary signaller training facility opens in Wales and Western


Caption: New eNtrance-eXit (NX) simulator panel

A temporary training facility has opened in Wales and Western to ensure critical Initial Signaller Training (IST) – a 12-week training course for new recruits – can take place locally.

The Crindau depot in Newport, South Wales, was identified as a location that could be rapidly transformed to enable new recruits to access localised training. The project was accelerated and delivered within four weeks so it can also be used to deliver contingency training following the recent appeal for retired signallers to help keep Britain moving during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hands on:

The new facility has an eNtrance-eXit (NX) simulator panel that enables delegates to perform hands-on signalling tasks and be practically assessed. The simulator is linked to computers that can make faults and hazards appear so signallers can experience 'real life' scenarios and demonstrate their competence in a safe environment.

Chris Pearce, head of operations delivery said: "This project was a joint effort which saw Wales & Western collaborate with Network Rail Training and Capital Delivery to turn around a fantastic result during challenging times. The site will be vital so we can continue to deliver critical signalling training for new recruits while also ensuring we build our resilience with a contingent workforce in the wake of Coronavirus."

'Remarkable achievement':

A spokesperson for Wales and Western said: "It is a remarkable achievement that this fully functioning training suite for signallers has been completed in less than a month. Under normal circumstances we have enough signallers to keep trains running whatever happens, but these are not normal circumstances and without fully trained signallers it is possible that parts of the network would have to shut."

Stuart Calvert, Capital Delivery director, Wales and Western said: "I set the team a very challenging target. Their response, a 'can do' attitude alongside a clear focus on a critical business need is everything we want from our project teams. The team at Newport relished the challenge and I am extremely proud of what they have achieved."