A rare sight greeted residents in Doncaster today as a refurbished Eurostar power car – previously used to carry more than 160 million passengers between the UK and mainland Europe – became the latest arrival at the town’s new world-class further education institution, the National College for High Speed Rail.
The 25-tonne power car, which used to whisk passengers from London to Paris and Brussels at speeds of more than 180 miles per hour, has been donated to the college by Alstom and Eurostar after it had been retired from service.
The train will now have a new lease of life in Doncaster by playing a critical role in educating Britain’s next generation of engineers.
The power car - the classic original e300/ Class 373, or Trans Manche Super Train - arrived in Doncaster on the back of a low loader truck and was winched into place on a 700-metre length of rail track which has been donated to the college by British Steel.
To prepare for its arrival at the college, the power car has undergone extensive refurbishment by Alstom which has included an overhaul to its original livery to incorporate the colourful branding of the new National College for High Speed Rail – the largest of five new national colleges that has been created by the Government to ensure British workers can learn world-class skills.
As an employer-led college, the National College for High Speed Rail is dedicated to solving the engineering, design, planning, manufacturing and construction skills gap that Britain faces as it looks to invest billions of pounds in modernising Britain’s rail network and wider transport infrastructure.
The college will play a key role in generating the workforce of the future who will design and build the UK’s new high-speed rail network and future infrastructure projects and has already created the UK’s first Certificate of Higher Education (CHE) in High Speed Rail and Infrastructure, which people in Doncaster can now apply for.
The newly refurbished power car will be used as part of the college’s wider education programme as leaners get to grips with a range of engineering specialisms from rolling stock, to track systems and power.
Clair Mowbray, chief executive for the National College for High Speed Rail, said: “At the college we are passionate that our students and apprentices will learn world-class skills from the most experienced employers in the business, using industry-leading equipment.
“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."
Doncaster mayor, Ros Jones, said: “It is great to see that the Eurostar engine has been delivered, this is a great addition to the college.
"It is beneficial for all those who will be attending the college to learn their skills and train on engines that they will be working on in the future."