Extra signallers for Network Rail have been in training with the help of the Swindon Panel Society and the Didcot Railway Centre during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Without enough signallers, Network Rail wouldn’t be able to keep the trains running to help the NHS or other key workers get to their places of work.
Signallers would normally be trained in other control rooms but to minimise the risk of spreading the virus those areas are not available.
The society’s equipment works in the same way as the original in terms of route-setting as simulated trains move around the layout.
What did the officials say?
Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s route director for Western, said:
“We are extremely grateful to the Swindon Panel Society for taking us in and enabling us to train extra signallers.
“The panel is of an excellent standard and allows signallers to learn vital skills in a realistic environment.
“Those being trained would ordinarily be in the control room but to reduce the risk of spreading the virus we are not allowing visitors into those areas.”
Danny Scroggins, SPS chairman, said:
“We are delighted to be helping out Network Rail by provision of training equipment in this way, and proud that we’re able to do ‘our bit’ in the fight against Coronavirus.
“The use of the panel by main line staff such as Network Rail’s is a great tribute to the standard of work of the many volunteers who have spent thousands of hours bringing the panel back to working order.”
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