Sam B on Unsplash


With the recent launch of the Sustainable Rail Blueprint, an industry-wide framework designed to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, conserve biodiversity, and improve quality of life for Brits, it’s never been more important to be part of the shift toward a greener world. As such, City & Guilds’ training courses place a particular focus on rail electrification, so students are equipped with the skills needed to work in a zero-carbon industry. They also recently launched a digital training course (an industry-first) in an effort to make the rail sector more accessible and sustainable to students across the country.

Online learning: shaping a sustainable future

City & Guilds recently partnered with Intertrain to launch the Small Plant Training programme for the rail sector. The course is split into a mix of in-person practical training and online learning, which is a first for the industry and a significant move toward a sustainable future. Online learning is beneficial for the environment in and of itself. In fact, online learning has been found to use as much as 87 per cent less energy and reduce carbon emissions by 85 per cent, compared to full-time, in-person courses.

Students can also benefit from cheaper travel expenses and the flexibility to fit the course around their schedule.

The online modules teach students key occupational skills for the rail sector, while they also have the opportunity to put their learning into practice at nationwide Intertrain training centres, worksites, and railway sidings. Students can choose to attend practical training sessions at the site that’s closest to them. The course is designed in line with Network Rail training standards, and students receive a City & Guilds digital credential once completed.

A promising partnership

Intertrain is a National Railway Safety Training and Assessment provider who’ve successfully delivered engineering training and apprenticeships for over five years. Just like City & Guilds, Intertrain is committed to providing seamless hybrid learning opportunities that make training in the rail sector more accessible to students. Their partnership is built on a strong foundation of shared values and is set to only go from strength to strength. ‘Intertrain are delighted to announce the launch of the first industry Small Plant blended learning programme’ comments Alex Pond, Managing Director of Intertrain. ‘The first of its kind, blended learning aims to offer efficiencies to the industry while streamlining quality and practicality at all levels’. Together, Intertrain and City & Guilds plan on launching more collaborative training programmes, including courses on Railway Technical, in the near future.

A focus on rail electrification

In particular, City & Guilds’ Level 3 Rail Engineering Technician Knowledge course places a strong emphasis on rail electrification, so students are trained in the safe construction, installation, maintenance, and renewal of sustainable electric railways. The UK aims to electrify 162.5 kilometres of railway track by the end of 2025, which is in keeping with the country’s overall goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In particular, the course module Features and application of electrical machines aims to teach students all about ‘the legislation, regulations and standards related to working with electrical apparatus’, as stated in the qualification handbook.

Strong understanding of electric rail apparatus

Upon completion of the module, students will: be able to successfully spot hazards associated with working with electrical apparatus; have a strong understanding of the control measures required to work safely on electrical apparatus; and also have a strong grasp of all the relevant legislation, regulations, and standards that surround electrical apparatus in the rail sector. And, once they’ve completed the course, students also have the opportunity to develop their newly-acquired skills, and move onto further training in sustainable areas like electrification construction and electrification maintenance.

City & Guilds is playing a key role in shaping a more sustainable future for the UK rail sector. Their groundbreaking hybrid training course, along with their strong focus on rail electrification modules, are two key initiatives designed to successfully prepare students for work in a greener, zero-carbon world.