Closed rail infrastructure training college could re-open

A closed South Yorkshire rail college which was used to train the next aspiring engineers for the partially-scrapped HS2 scheme might be on track to reopen.

The National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure in Doncaster shut down in July 2023 due to low student numbers.

The route of the controversial national high-speed rail link was drastically scaled back by the Government, with the purpose-built college closing its doors after six years.

However, City of Doncaster Council chief executive, Damian Allen, has now confirmed a new unnamed occupier is exploring repurposing the college building, with the council hoping it would “remain true to its original purpose”.

A report to the council’s cabinet explains that a new offer for the building in Carolina Way is being drawn up.

It adds: “Work regarding the lease and option to buy with the new occupant continues, with staged works and occupancy planned to take place between May and September 2024 to deliver a rail-focused centre of excellence for training.”

The college was originally developed to provide students the skills to work on HS2 and other big infrastructure projects.

The high-speed rail link was originally meant to link London with the West Midlands, Manchester, Leeds and York, but was scaled back. Its current route is set to connect London Euston to the West Midlands using a new dedicated line.

Last year’s college closure saw 42 jobs lost, with about 170 students being transferred to other institutions.