MTR Crossrail on track with 200th train driver apprentice

MTRC Driver Apprentices


MTR Crossrail held an event with rail industry partners to celebrate a big milestone on Wednesday, February 7, with its 200th trainee joining the Train Driver Apprenticeship Programme.

The 18-month apprenticeship, which was introduced by MTR Crossrail in February 2016, runs alongside the Train Operating Company’s normal Train Driver Programme and offers additional skills and a qualification to those who opt in.

The programme has been delivered through a partnership with training provider, Train’d Up, who provide assessors, functional skills tutors and undertake quality assurance to ensure the programme delivers candidates who are taught to a high industry standard.

MTR Crossrail has led the way in the rail industry as the first train operating company included on the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP) and approved to deliver apprenticeship training to employees through the ‘employer provider’ route.

Those at the special event not only recognised the 200th driver to join the industry-leading initiative but also celebrated with a group of the first candidates to receive their qualifications following completion of the apprenticeship.

Partnership has been key to achieving this level of success through close working with Train’d Up, Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, who have offered great support through a dedicated union learning representative.

MTR Crossrail Managing Director, Steve Murphy, was pleased to see so many people supporting such an important milestone and reiterated the key partnerships within the industry.

MTR Crossrail Managing Director, Steve Murphy signing ASLEF Charter


“In a project where there are so many exciting developments, it’s really important to recognise the fantastic achievements of our people and the training and development that goes into successfully running a railway. The Trainee Train Driver Apprenticeship has been a great success and celebrating the 200th driver today is special. There really are so many talented individuals joining the railway for the future.

“The support of our friends at Train’d Up, ESFA and ASLEF has been fantastic and much appreciated and we look forward to continuing our relationships moving forward.”

There was also a commitment to futureproof training and development in the industry as MTR Crossrail became the first train operator in the country to officially sign ASLEF’s Charter for Apprentices.

ASLEF District Organiser, Nigel Gibson, applauded MTR Crossrail’s commitment to learning and working collaboratively with its partners, “We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with MTR Crossrail in delivering Driver Apprenticeships and we believe that the ASLEF Charter for Apprentices provides a platform from which all train operators can take forward.  The fact that MTR Crossrail is the first in the industry to sign up to this charter is indication that working collaboratively can have positive benefits and deliver for our members and company employees alike.”

Howard Smith, Transport for London’s Operations Director for the Elizabeth line, said: "Staff will be at the heart of delivering the Elizabeth line, the new railway for London and the South East, and it’s so encouraging to see 200 drivers join this innovative MTR apprenticeship. When the Elizabeth line opens through central London in December we’ll have a strong team of skilled drivers and this programme helps ensure we will have a diverse pool of talent ready to drive our customers and deliver a great service."

Both MTR Crossrail and ASLEF are part of the Transport Services Working Group working to develop a Level 3 Train Driver Apprenticeship.

- Ends -


For more information or images from the event, please contact:

Robert Johnson, Communications & Stakeholder Manager, MTR Crossrail


Notes to Editors

About MTR

  • MTR Corporation (MTR) headquarters are in Hong Kong and is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading operators of metro, commuter and airport rail systems and has a successful international consulting business. It is also an acknowledged world leader in rail + property development, and manages shopping malls, retail units, apartments and other major buildings along some of its lines.
  • In the UK, MTR Crossrail is the operator of the Crossrail concession (which will be renamed the Elizabeth line when services commence through central London in December 2018), and is currently running TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.  MTR will begin running services between: Heathrow and Paddington in May 2018; Paddington and Abbey Wood in December 2018; Paddington and Shenfield in May 2019; and full through services (including to Reading in December 2019).
  • MTR has operated South Western Railway, one of the largest UK franchises, as a joint venture with First Group since August 2017. As part of this, First MTR South Western Trains Limited will deliver new trains, redeveloped stations, and a range of other enhancements which will improve both rail services and customer experience.
  • MTR was a joint venture partner in London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL), which held the concession from November 2007 until November 2016. 
  • Elsewhere in Europe, MTR runs the Stockholm Metro, the Stockholm Pendeltåg commuter railway and provides open access MTR Express services between Stockholm and Gothenburg.
  • Around the world, MTR: runs metro, commuter rail, light rail and infrastructure, develops and manages significant rail-related property and is delivering new rail lines and major upgrade projects in Hong Kong; operates lines in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou in Mainland China; is lead shareholder in a joint venture operating the Melbourne train system and leads a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) consortium which will deliver and operate the Sydney Metro Northwest in Australia.
  • Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, MTR has a market capitalisation of approximately £26.6 billion, and is included on the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. It won over 50 awards in 2016 for quality, customer service and sustainability.