The South West Trains (SWT) and Network Rail (NR) alliance has opened a joint training and development centre at the Basingstoke training campus in northeast Hampshire, the UK.

The new centre extends the existing alliance between SWT and NR and brings their staff under one roof to work together.

Designed to carry out extensive training programmes for front-line staff, the centre aims to deliver better service to travellers.

"The centre will also help us as we evolve our alliance with South West Trains, with all our staff developing side by side."

It will have the capacity to train about 220 people per day within its more than 5,000m² training space.

The campus features 50m indoor and 120m outdoor track layouts, train driving simulators and educational space for engineers, signallers, maintenance staff and drivers.

The SWT-NR alliance was established in 2012 to deliver better rail services by reducing delays for passengers, providing better customer service and offering effective management of disruption.

In June, the alliance was reshaped to focus on areas that benefit its passengers.

Network Rail Wessex Route managing director John Halsall said: "Our investment in the Basingstoke Campus provides world-class 21st century training facilities, enabling us to modernise and upskill our people so they can deliver a safer, more efficient railway for passengers as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

"The centre will also help us as we evolve our alliance with South West Trains, with all our staff developing side by side."

The reshaped alliance will involve changes to management structure and commercial arrangements.

The alliance’s joint strategy will deliver planned infrastructure improvement works on the Wessex route and bring the former Waterloo International Terminal back into full use.

The new centre will also house the Route Operations and Training Centre for the network, which will be responsible for operating all signalling and infrastructure.

South West Trains managing director Tim Shoveller said: "We run one of the busiest railways in Europe with over half a million journeys every day and our alliance with Network Rail is absolutely vital in ensuring we can continue to provide the services our passengers rightly expect – both today and in the future.

"Highly trained, motivated and rewarded staff are an important part of this alliance and the Basingstoke Campus will be at the centre of this for years to come."

According to NR, a joint operational control centre will continue at London Waterloo, with teams of both the parties working together to safely manage over 1,600 train services a day.

Image: SWT and Network Rail’s new Basingstoke training campus. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail