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Victa Railfreight teams up with Network Rail to deliver Rail Freight Familiarisation Training Courses

Victa Railfreight has run the first of a series of successful Rail Freight Familiarisation Training courses for Network Rail Mobile Operations Managers and Mobile Incident Officers.

The initiative, developed in partnership with Network Rail, is primarily aimed at those people who work in operational roles with responsibility for the safe, efficient and punctual service delivery of rail operations across the UK network.

Neil Sime, Managing Director of Victa Railfreight, said: “We are delighted with the early successes and excellent feedback we have received for this new training course. So far, we have delivered training to 42 Network Rail candidates with the intention to deliver a deeper understanding of rail freight operations and ultimately to enhance the safety and performance of the rail network.”

Candidates undertake training in practical and theory-based environments on subjects including coupling and uncoupling rail freight vehicles, an introduction to the rail freight vehicle braking system and the procedures and arrangements for completing a brake continuity test.  Also covered are the key component parts of a rail freight vehicle and specific arrangements for controlling freight train movements.

The concept has been in discussion for some time and an initial pilot course was initiated by Kenneth Yarham, Senior Route Freight Manager on the Southern Region last November. Following feedback from this, some changes were made the format to include more practical input and they are now being taken up by other Network Rail routes.

Patrick Allinson, Network Rail’s Western Route Operations and Performance Manager, said: “The course gives an excellent insight into rail freight operations and has provided invaluable information for those who have attended. We are very supportive of freight on our network and so building our team’s knowledge of rail freight operations is incredibly worthwhile.”

Sophie Bancroft, Network Rail’s Operations Director for the Western route, praised the course's benefits, highlighting its relevance for operational staff transitioning from passenger operations. She said: Freight plays such an important part of our railway, and I am pleased the Western route is leading the way and building closer working relationships and understanding. I am incredibly impressed by the standard of the course which is enabling our MOMs and MIOs to have a greater understanding of their workplace and how we can work together to connect people and goods with where they need to be.”  


The latest one-day courses were held at Network Rail’s Thames Valley Signalling Centre and DB Cargo’s Didcot Yard throughout January and February.

Victa Railfreight’s Operational Support Specialist, Jon Norman, who has almost 35 years’ experience working on the railway, played a pivotal role in developing the course.  He adds: “I firmly believe that this course will be instrumental in enhancing safety, efficiency, and collaboration within the rail freight industry. By providing underpinning knowledge and understanding of rail freight operations, we can help mitigate risks and optimise network performance."

Freight Operating Companies are supporting the initiative by providing resources to facilitate the practical elements of the training.

The courses are the latest addition to the portfolio of support services provided to the rail industry by Victa Railfreight. It has been running Rail Safety Awareness courses for almost 10 years and offers a range of other safety and operations training. It’s recently introduced “Rail Freight Terminal Management” compliance evaluations of freight facilities are being taken up by wide range of freight customers.

To find out more about the Victa Railfreight training courses and support services, please contact Pam Smith, Rail Enhancement Training Administrator on 07912299624 or email

For media enquiries please contact Melanie Hill at Gravity PR on 07527 847423 or email


Caption to photo:

Victa Railfreight’s Operational Support Specialist, Jon Norman, delivers a Rail Freight Familiarisation Training course to Network Rail candidates at DB Cargo’s Didcot Yard.


Notes to Editors:


·        Victa Railfreight Ltd was formed in 1995 and the company has constantly adapted to the evolving landscape of the rail freight industry

·        The company’s product portfolio provides a full range of operational, safety and logistics services to rail freight operators, customers, potential users and stakeholders.

·        Victa Railfreight’s experienced and dedicated team of rail professionals are based at locations across the UK

·        As well as being a licensed UK wide freight train operator in its own right, Victa’s Rail Services division also provides a range of services to support train operators, terminal operations and industrial users of rail. Innovative approaches to the resourcing of rail freight.

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