IRaTCA’s first training programme in 2012, the Advanced Railway Operation Course for 14 trainees from five countries – Algeria, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tunisia – was successfully held in Korea from 15 – 31 March 2012.
The curriculum was very helpful for trainees to learn about the developed status of KORAIL’s railway operations through specialised lectures in marketing, civil engineering and rolling stock etc., allowing them to gain insight into KORAIL’s major facilities such as Goyang KTX depot, Guro CTC (Centralised Traffic Control) centre, IT centre, Seoul station, and KARST (KORAIL Airport Railway Station and Terminal). The initial training course opened with a lecture on an overview of KORAIL including IRaTCA, by Mr HYON, Yong Chon, Director of IRaTCA. The current status of five countries’ railways was also introduced so that all participants and IRaTCA staff had a chance to become familiar with the situations of railways in other countries.
In addition, the trainees had an opportunity to learn about Korean culture through a cultural exchange session, which took place exclusively at IRaTCA. This included Korean folk games such as Yut-nori (the four stick game), jegichagi (kicking shuttle cock), and the Tuho game (throwing the stick into the jar). A number of field trips covering an industrial area and tourist attractions of Korea’s southeastern region made the trainees experience the present state of the Korean economy.
The trainees also got to know each other, especially when divided into three groups to build a team project with team members from different countries. Eventually, all the trainees and IRaTCA members became more united under the name of one railway family during the course of two weeks. All the participants not only shared information about the different cultural life of each country, but also tried to understand cultural differences. Although two weeks is a very short period in terms of providing trainees with profound knowledge about the railways, their full cooperation and effort made the course more fruitful.
Mr Chung, Chang-Young, CEO/President of KORAIL, graced the occasion by saying: “We are aiming to achieve co-prosperity with African railways through this course by hosting this type of event” and to achieve this, “KORAIL will make every effort to lead the co-prosperity of African railways and to become the world’s best railway.” In her congratulatory speech, Ms Habboub Goucem from Algeria mentioned that all of the trainees enjoyed the course and especially their stay in Korea. She also said “We remain very grateful, and implore you not to relent in your efforts towards assisting developing nations”, expecting friendly cooperation between the respective countries and Korea in the reply speech.