A team of over 20 apprentices from Siemens and the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance took part in a two-day team-building event at Swanage Railway, dismantling a Class 101 DMU (diesel multiple unit) before it is scrapped.
The ex-British Rail unit from the 1950s last saw service in 2000. Salvaged parts will form a valuable source of spares for the main line upgraded and certificated DMUs that will be used on future train services between Swanage and the main line at Wareham from next year.
Project Wareham Project Manager Frank Roberts – who has been a Swanage Railway volunteer since the 1980s – explained: “The project to reinstate a train service to Wareham is really accelerating and, while there is a lot of work to do, the implementation of many years of detailed and challenging planning is about to pay dividends. We are extremely grateful to the Siemens and South West Trains apprentices for their work in stripping the old DMUs of components.”
Siemens apprentice and Director at The Swanage Railway Trust, Nathan Au, initiated the idea with his fellow colleagues; “We are lucky enough to learn about and work with modern fleets such as the Class 444 and 450 Desiro units for South West Trains in our apprenticeships, and this gave us a chance to practice our mechanical skills and techniques on older rolling stock while also helping towards a bigger railway project.”
After spending two days removing everything they could including doors, engines and a speedometer, the mix of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year apprentices also had the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the iconic steam railway at Swanage.
Matt Jolly, one of the 12 Siemens apprentices that volunteered said; “We’ve not been able to do anything like this before. It was a good experience and I’ve been able to help out some of the other apprentices which helps my own development.“
Shannon Fox, 1st year apprentice at South West Trains added “I only joined in August last year and so this has been a lot to take in but it’s been good getting to work with Siemens and also see behind the scenes.”
By popular demand, an event of this nature will now be organised annually between Siemens and South West Trains apprentices.