The Business Career Academy students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull gained first hand knowledge of the transport industry this week, as they visited Moor St station in Birmingham City Centre to learn about Chiltern Railways.
The second year students – all studying on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Business course – were welcomed by Malcolm Holmes, the station manager, who went through the history of Chiltern Railways, owned by German company, Deutsche Bahn.
Chiltern Railways have spent a lot of money in investing in their trains and have recently begun their new service from Birmingham to London, which takes just 90 minutes (down from the 2 hours it took previously). The students heard about how Chiltern Railways came about with the changes.
The talk from Malcolm Holmes also explained how competitive the rail market is, with a total of 13 different train franchisees in the UK. Chiltern Railways are currently re-investing in Solihull station, as a massive 1.5 million passengers pass through this station and Chiltern Railways believe that there is a potential for this number to increase if there were more parking spaces. The new car park is currently being developed and will do so over the next few months.
Ranjit Hayer, Career Academy Manager and a Business teacher at the College, commented: “The students were provided refreshments in tradition train fashion on one of the company’s trolleys, which was full to the brim with snacks they would find on their trains. They also heard about how a career in the train industry is rewarding and challenging and how quickly it changes. For example, Chiltern have just launch free wifi on their journeys from Birmingham to London to help launch their new faster trains. It was an interesting visit and we thank Malcolm and Chiltern Railways for hosting us.”