Network Rails chiefs to visit young apprentices at Ffestiniog

Published on : Thursday, February 14, 2013

Network Rail chief executive David Higgins and Wales route managing director Mark Langman are to visit 16 apprentices gaining valuable work experience on the Welsh railways.

They will visit the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway on Thursday 08 February to see how maintenance of the historic narrow gauge railway infrastructure is progressing.

The apprentices are part of a 200-strong Network Rail cohort who are training at HMS Sultan, Europe’s largest engineering training facility at Gosport in Hampshire, over the next 12 months, starting last September.

As part of the programme, 72 Network Rail track apprentices from across Great Britain have been working on the Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway during January and February during the five weeks they are supporting its winter maintenance programme.

Mark Langman said: “This is an exciting time for the apprentices to be joining the railway. Our recently announced plans will see the biggest investment in the Welsh railway since the Victorian era.

“Ahead of this Network Rail apprentices are getting their first real experience of working on an operational railway at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. This is a great opportunity for them to work together as a team, putting the skills they have learnt in the classroom to use in a practical setting. It will set them up for success for their future roles in Network Rail depots across Wales.

“This is a partnership that not only benefits the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway and Network Rail but also provides a welcome boost to local businesses within the local area of Porthmadog.”

Other executives from the Wales Route have already visited the apprentices to see how they are getting on, including general manager Paul Jenkins; route infrastructure maintenance director Alex Sharkey; route asset management director Jonathan Pegg; lead human resources business partner Phil Woolcock, and route safety improvement manager Paul Clark.

The 16 apprentices taking part from Wales will continue their three-year apprenticeship back in their ‘home depots’ within the Wales route from June 2013 onwards.

Source :- Network Rail

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