The huge 15m long carriage will help provide practical training for students and apprentices at the academy located at the college’s Enfield Centre.
Engineering UK estimates there is an annual shortfall of between 37,000 to 59,000 in core engineering roles despite an annual demand of 124,000 jobs, and says it is essential that more young people study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
The carriage made an 11-mile journey on the back of a flatbed articulated lorry from the Transport for London (TfL) Ilford Depot to the Enfield Centre in Hertford Road on 19 December. The lorry slowly manoeuvred the carriage into the college’s rear car park where it was then lifted by a crane and lowered onto a concrete base next to the London Rail Academy workshop.
The carriage is a wooden replica of an actual DLR carriage, which was made by Spanish transport engineering manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) for the launch of a new fleet of 43 trains that are due to come into service in 2023. A temporary shelter has been built to house the carriage until a more permanent engineering shed is constructed on the site.
Barry Connelly, Strategic Adviser for Engineering Development at CONEL, said: “The carriage was specifically built to promote the new DLR rolling stock to the rail industry in September 2020. Over the past few months I worked with TfL to reach an agreement to adopt the carriage and install it at the London Rail Academy to improve the learning experience for our students.
“The carriage will enable our current and future Level 2 to Level 4 students and apprentices to receive rail engineering training that is as close as it gets when it comes to gaining the technical skills and knowledge to realise their potential.
“The carriage further complements our existing range of high value equipment at the academy, which has been recognised as the leading rail industry sector college in London and surrounding counties.”
CONEL is part of Capital City College Group (CCCG), which also comprises City and Islington College, Westminster College and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training (CCCT). The college offers engineering diploma courses and apprenticeships through CCCT and transport engineering companies including TfL, Siemens, Bombardier, Hitachi, Eurostar, Alstom, Thales, London Underground and DLR.
Marcia Summers, Assistant Principal for Technical Industries, said: “This carriage is a fantastic addition to our engineering provision at CONEL, and a sign of our real commitment to becoming the number one hub for providing training for rail engineering careers in London.
“This acquisition will support students and apprentices at the London Rail Academy to gain the knowledge and expertise they need, and in turn help plug the current STEM learning skills gap in the engineering industry.”