British Steel donates rail to HS2 project

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 2 Feb 2017

BRITISH Steel has given a shot in the arm to the HS2 project by announcing it is donating 700m of rail to the high speed rail college to train engineers of the future.

The firm will be donating the track to the National College of High Speed Rail, which has campuses in both Doncaster and Birmingham.

At the colleges, thousands of students will be trained to deliver billions of pounds worth of rail contracts.

Peter Smith, British Steel's managing director for Rail, said: "High Speed Rail is a hugely important development for this country and British Steel expects to play a leading role in HS2.

"The National College of High Speed Rail will help train the rail engineers of the future and I am delighted that British Steel is able to support them.

"We are proud of our reputation across the globe for supplying high speed rail in a series of prestigious schemes and we look forward to working with the college and HS2 management team as the project develops."

The news comes after the Telegraph has been campaigning for the Scunthorpe steelworks to be handed the steel procurement contract for HS2.

As part of the donation, 41 lengths of 18m rail will be installed inside the site before some of it is built around.

The rails are being fitted at the college by Rhomberg Sersa, which was present when British Steel delivered the rail to the Doncaster campus.

"The rail will be used for the test track on which the train inside the college will be used, giving the students the chance to work on a real train. The rail will also allow students to be trained in railway maintenance," added Mr Smith.

John Austin, British Steel's Network Rail account manager, said: "The request from HS2 was for the supply chain to support the high speed college after we attended an industry day back in December.

"It was fantastic to see the rail delivered and know that it will play such a vital role in the development of high speed rail in this country."

Recently, Scunthorpe Nic Dakin MP said the Government needs to deliver on its promises to steel.

By donating steel towards education of high speed rail, the Scunthorpe steelworks is showing its worth to the project.

Beth Curtis, the college's head of partnerships and communications, said: "We're delighted with the donation of the track, which will allow us to teach students in a work-like environment on the finest equipment available. It is a testament to the commitment of British Steel to training the future workforce."

You can sign our petition on the left to put pressure on the Department for Transport to hand the HS2 rail contract to the steelworks.

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