National Rail Awards 2018: FREIGHT AND LOGISTICS ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR: • GB Railfreight – Training and Standards team

GB Railfreight’s Training and Standards team provides an important function for the whole company, meeting all training, mentoring and competency assurance needs. Growing from a team of just five in 2017, there are now 14 individuals. There are plans to grow the capabilities further by making greater use of technology to provide more support for drivers returning to work after incidents, and the creation of a new training school.

The newly enlarged team is also now providing training for third-party clients and having a key input into industry-wide processes, including digital railway requirements.

GBRf sees investment in training as essential to future-proofing the business and this commitment is already producing measurable benefits - commercially it is expected to yield a positive payback within two to three years.

A support network has been set up, in collaboration with the British Transport Police, to provide additional assistance to drivers who have been exposed to suicide on the network. Likewise, a partnership with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch provides support for GBRf’s fatigue management programme.

Currently, the team is overseeing the establishment of a new training school that is being built to accommodate the only full-cab, ERTMS-capable Class 66 simulators. This provides the best possible learning environment for new trainees.

An extension of this is a real first for the industry - GBRf’s team is also working on the development of a driver course aimed at trainees recruited ‘off the street’.

All in all, GBRf is positioning itself at the leading edge of training and standards and is helping others in the industry to improve.

Judges said: “We were impressed by the knowledge and breadth of experience of the small leadership team and by their clear appreciation of the strategic issues that their company and the wider industry is facing.

  • For FULL coverage of the National Rail Awards, read RAIL 862, published on September 26, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle on September 22.

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