UK's National College for High Speed Rail receives refurbished power car


Alstom and Eurostar have donated a refurbished power car to the Doncaster campus of the UK's National College for High Speed Rail, following the train's retirement from service.

The Eurostar power car was used to carry more than 160 million passengers between the UK and mainland Europe prior to its retirement.

The 25t car is an original e300/ Class 373 model, also known as the Trans Manche Super Train, and was placed on a 700m length of rail track that was donated to the college by British Steel.

Alstom carried out an extensive overhaul to the original livery of the train prior to its delivery.

The car will be utilised by the college's students to aid the learning of a wide range of engineering specialisms, including rolling stock, tracking systems and power.

National College for High Speed Rail chief executive Clair Mowbray said: “The best way to educate Britain’s future engineers and help reduce the national skills shortage, is to grant learners access to the kind of apparatus they will become familiar with when they go out to work for businesses in the field.

"As we look to create more high-speed rail in the UK, it is a real coup for the college to bring this working engine into Doncaster."

“Now, as we look to create more high-speed rail in the UK, it is a real coup for the college to bring this working engine with adaptable Virtual Reality (VR) into Doncaster.”

The college will also use the new power car as a virtual / augmented reality environment, which will contain VR headsets to provide students will an interactive 3D recreation of the existing Eurostar cab configuration. 

Students will be able to drive the train virtually and utilise multiple digital screens equipped with leap motion tracking capabilities.

A high-speed 3D pantograph, which supplies the train's electric current, will also help the students to understand how the system operates via hand tracking and animation techniques.


Image: Power Car enters the Doncaster campus of the National College for High Speed Rail. Photo: courtesy of Doncaster Council.