Latest News | 17 December 2020

Driver training success sees EMR add to fleet

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East Midlands Railway has successfully delivered unique driver training programmes to allow the introduction of new trains into its fleet.

The Derby train operator resumed its driver training programme in August after being forced to stop due to Covid-19 earlier in the year.

Since the training resumed, EMR has aimed to train four drivers per week on Class 170’s at both Derby and Nottingham, with an additional four drivers on Class 180’s at Derby.

The latter allowed the first of the Class 180s to enter service, as planned, earlier this week.

Due to the impact Covid-19 had upon training, new agreements were forged in collaboration with EMR union colleagues to ensure training could be delivered safely.

As a business, EMR had never attempted to train so many drivers on different fleets, across multiple locations simultaneously, but have done so, while also adapting to the restrictions put in place by Covid-19.

Typically, driver training involves more than one person in a confined driver’s cab for extended periods of time. This had to be adapted due to Covid-19.

To keep the teams safe during the pandemic, all of the 'close contact' training required drivers to enter into Covid-secure training bubbles.

Chris Fairclough, a driver depot manager for EMR, said: “The Driver Training Programme had to be adapted quickly due to Covid-19.

“With social distancing measures in place, we have worked harder than ever to ensure we could train as many drivers in the safest and quickest way possible.

“Safety is always kept at the forefront of our operations and everyone has worked tirelessly to ensure that is the case.

“With new style trains coming into use, which requires our drivers to re-train on the new models, the pressure has been on to learn everything about how the new fleet operates; from rules and regulations to fire safety.

“It has not been easy but I am incredibly proud of all the work that has gone into the Driver Training Programme.”

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