The National College for High Speed Rail opens two brand new campuses to help shape the future of the UK’s railway industry

October 2017
  • National College for High Speed Rail is dedicated to the future of the UK’s railway industry  
  • Courses will provide specialist vocational training for the next generation of High Speed 2 (HS2) engineers 
  • HS2 will employ over 25,000 people during construction of phases One and Two and will create 2,000 apprenticeships 
  • 8,700 graduate-level engineers are needed per year by rail businesses over the next 10 years 
  • Training colleges based in Birmingham and Doncaster 

The National College for High Speed Rail is a new specialist education and training institution dedicated to the future of the UK’s railway industry. The two brand new college campuses, in Birmingham and Doncaster, offer fully installed track and rolling stock, specialist workshops, advanced digital learning and practical classroom teaching. 

With plans well underway for the UK’s second high speed rail line, the industry is already beginning to forge new paths, requiring new skills and employees from a wider range of backgrounds than ever before. The college’s priority is to ensure that they lead this change, attracting as diverse a group of people as possible to the college, and redefining common perceptions of what engineering and the rail sector is all about. 

The college opened in September 2017 attracting  new learners,  the existing workforce,  industry partners,  career changers and partnership with other education providers, as they build a workforce prepared to lead the new era of rail travel in the UK and overseas. 

To develop the courses the college is working with employers with the aim that college leavers will qualify with the specific skills required in their chosen field. Students will be taught through a mixture of classroom learning and real-world work experience, giving them the chance to work on real projects and with potential future colleagues as they train. 

Pioneering Technical Excellence 

The college has been set up to provide training and work experience to learners aged 18 and above in all aspects of what makes a modern railway. That’s not just engineering and wearing hard hats, it’s creating great passenger experiences, innovation and design as well.  


Inside the buildings, the college combines open workshop spaces with classroom and mixed-reality teaching. Technical training environments are fully kitted out with the latest digital technology and equipment from industry employers. Learners will train on this equipment, supported by specialists in the relevant sector and with access to skills and experience from every aspect of the rail industry


All learners will combine classroom teaching with hands-on, real-life project experience and embedding work-ready skills, personal attributes and service design into everything we do. These courses have been developed with employers from across the rail industry, to ensure that learners are gaining the transferable skills they need to prepare them for a career in rail. 

A huge amount of input and donations have come from industry employers and the college is working with training providers in education and with local enterprise partnerships, councils and schools to ensure the college sits at the heart of a vibrant and diverse community. 

Courses are designed to ensure the college learners get the very best experience, changing not only their perception of training in rail, but the makeup of the industry itself.

Further information