The fourth meeting of the European network of Rail training centres took place in Lyon on 12th and 13th of March 2009, at SNCF facilities.
The key objective of the network, which gathers major European training providers, from both commercial and non commercial training centres, is to contribute to the opening of the European rail training market, by enabling active professional dialogue between rail training professionals to support interoperability.
The meeting was the opportunity for the network to get acquainted with SNCF training policy and activities. Bernard Chrétien, the Director of the Infra SNCF in house management School (Ecole Supérieure des Cadres de l’Infrastructure - ESCI) opened the meeting with a presentation about training at the SNCF, with a focus on the Infrastructure activity.
The first morning of the meeting was then dedicated to a workshop “screening of rail training centres in Europe: outlook and perspectives”, organized in order to disseminate and discuss the results of the first phase of the training centre survey initiated by the NRTC.
The Survey which consisted of screening of railway training in Europe is the first step for the development of benchmarking activities between the training centres.
The IZVW Würzburg University in Germany which was contracted to analyse the data of the network’s screening presented an analysis of the results, which were then discussed between the network members, a representative of the European Infrastructure Managers (EIM) as well as a representative of the European Railway Agency (ERA).
The final report gives an overview of the results from the group’s analysis (24 training providers) regarding organisational characteristics, areas of training, policies, training approaches, and intention of future cooperation, as well as a summary and recommendation for further steps towards a more detailed benchmarking process.
As a result of the exchanges and debates, the network decided to focus the next step of the study on benchmarking activity aiming at the enhancement of the quality and efficiency of railway staff training at European training centres. The network also agreed to concentrate its efforts on specific safety-relevant roles and positions as well as certain types of training.
The afternoon session of the meeting was dedicated to discussions around further activities and actions for the network partly based on the brainstorm of the morning session, as well as on the exchanges of the previous meetings of the network. It includes the development of a dedicated website for the network, which would underpin the activities and enhance the professional dialogue between the training managers, as well as the network’s activities as regards other relevant European Railway stakeholders.
The network also supported the idea of organizing regular European conferences on railway training. The first one could take place in 2010, to debate the issues of trainers’ skills , capabilities and assessment methodologies.
The e-learning topic is also on the agenda of the network with two ongoing projects:
(1) “ERTMS made simple” targeting at all employees in the European railway community who need to understand the basics of ERTMS as a part of the train operation system projects
(2) A co-financed project by EU Leonardo da Vinci programme “Development of common guidelines for a European e-learning module on “safety on or along the tracks” The project is coordinated by the UIC and is in partnership with DB training, Railinfra opleidingen and Mav Baross Gabor training centre.
Eventually, the network was acquainted with the European project INNOTRACK and the new research produced in the area of substructure, rails & welding and switches & crossings.
Bjorn Paulsson, coordinator of the project at the UIC infrastructure department established contacts with the training providers, in view of developing training initiatives to implement the projects’ results.
The last morning of the network meeting was hosted by the Rhône-Alpes Training centre composed of:
1 Training Unit specialized in Operational Management of Traffic which gives advanced courses on tools for Signallers
2 Training Units specialized in the Management of Traffic, using simulators and small scale models of track layouts with trains, signals and barriers
3 Training Units for Maintenance, delivering trainings to maintenance workers (first training, refresher modules)
The visit of the different training facilities enabled many exchanges between the SNCF trainers and the network.
An example of pedagogical tool for the training of signallers
MISTRAL simulator is a tool used for the training of signallers in the technology and environment of computerized command control base units, in the use of the system in normal and abnormal situations, to develop the know-how in safety traffic
The following companies were represented at the meeting: Amey, Arriva Trains Wales, ARTP (Association of Railway Training Providers from the UK), CITEF (Railway Technology Research Centre –Universidad Politecnica de Madrid), Mav Baross Gabor training centre, Norsk Jernbanskole , NS, ÖBB, SNCF infrastructure, SNCF training department, Railinfra opleidingen, Rail training international, REFER, RENFE, RSSB, VR, with representatives of the ERA & the EIM
Current chairmanship: DB training
The next meeting of the network is scheduled next October 22nd and 23rd. Venue to be confirmed