Developer and promotor of the UK's new networks High Speed Two (HS2) has commenced construction on the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) at sites in Doncaster and Birmingham.
The new facilities will provide specialist training for skills and qualifications required to build HS2 and future infrastructure projects.
They will house a 1,900m² workshop area, external track, teaching classrooms, informal learning areas, open project spaces, a 120-seat capacity lecture theatre, seminar and meeting rooms, and an atrium social area, which will be open to the public.
Nearly 1,050 students will be offered courses in track, rolling stock, railway infrastructure, traction power supply and distribution, as well as business management, and operation planning.
NCHSR corporate board chair Terry Morgan said: "The College will have a major and hugely positive impact on the ability of the rail industry to develop a multi-skilled specialist British workforce, capable of building HS2 and future infrastructure projects.
"It will be a catalyst for growth in both Doncaster and Birmingham that will bring new investment into the area and provide highly skilled jobs for local people."
The college will open in September next year to a wide range of students including new entrants to the industry, existing workforce, students studying for a foundation degree in rail engineering, access students, mature entrants, higher apprentice engineering students, those progressing from L3 diploma rail engineering, continuous professional development, and people changing career.
UK Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill said: "This landmark moment means we are one step closer to seeing students walk through the doors of the College in 2017 learning the cutting-edge skills we need to deliver HS2 and world-beating rail infrastructure.
"This shows the transformational effect that HS2 is already having on our country, boosting skills, generating jobs and supporting economic growth, before spades are in the ground next year."
Image: Illustration of the proposed National College for High Speed Rail at Birmingham. Photo: courtesy of gov.uk.