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Friday, November 11, 2016, 00:48

MTRC launches HK’s first rail service academy

By Luis Liu and Dara Wang

HONG KONG - The city's world-renowned train service provider – the MTR Corporation (MTRC) – launched the city's first rail service academy on Thursday to develop train system professionals and managers, according to its chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang.

Besides offering training to local talents, the MTR Academy eyes especially at the opportunities in the Chinese mainland and Belt and Road (B&R) countries and regions. It is poised to extend its rail services and training sessions in these markets as massive infrastructure projects are about to take place, Ma said.

The city's world-renowned train service provider launched the city's first rail service academy on Thursday

The B&R Initiative is China's trade and economic strategy for Chinese companies to go global and strengthen ties between China and Eurasia.

At the opening ceremony, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said Hong Kong can expand its advantage in rail construction, management and operations to other countries and regions, especially along the B&R route. The city will work with mainland partners to join in this historic foray into markets with great business opportunities under the B&R Initiative.

The establishment of the MTR Academy was listed in Leung’s Policy Address in January 2016, to help upgrade local and regional train services.

Currently, the MTRC offers management and operation training to 17,000 local staff and 7,000 international partners.

Leung cited the Crossrail project in Britain – a 118-kilometer railway line under development in London and its nearby counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex – as one of the best examples of MTRC's competitiveness as the company will run 28 of the total 40 stations. "It shows Hong Kong's train service stands among the best in the world and MTR is Hong Kong's pride," Leung said.

The MTRC constructed and operates rail services in mainland cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, as well as other world-renowned cities, including London, Stockholm, Melbourne and Sydney.

According to Ma, the MTR Academy plans to establish a branch on the Chinese mainland offering tailor-made training to nourish railway talents and to facilitate bidding for railway projects under the B&R Initiative.

The academy, located near Hung Hom Station in Kowloon, provides two-year advanced diploma courses in railway engineering and offers academic programs in rail signaling and communication in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, Ma said.

Courses will be taught in both Cantonese and English. Tuition is set at HK$41,800 for two years.

Short-term courses in assets management, system engineering, customer service and safety management will also be provided, Ma added. Some experienced learning sessions will be open to the public to learn train driving in a simulated system.

So far the academy has enrolled 30 students for advanced diploma courses who are expected to graduate in October 2018, Ma said.

Equipped with professional railway knowledge, students in the academy have a higher chance to get employed by MTRC, said Morris Cheung Siu-wa, president of the academy.
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