The Annual Technical Tour of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers provides an excellent opportunity for experienced engineers and new graduates to study the technologies and operations of railways outside the boundaries of the UK. Past Technical Tours have taken participants to Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Holland, Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland. The most recent tour in 2016 visited railway manufacturers and train operators in Germany and Belgium.
The tour always includes visits to rolling stock manufacturers, workshops, depots and train operations. Members of the Institution and affiliates always benefit greatly from visiting railway businesses using different practices and technologies in different political, economic and environmental contexts. Feedback about the Tour from participants and hosts is always very positive.
The main benefit of attending an ATT is professional development and the acquisition of knowhow that may be of relevance to the UK railway industry:
- Knowledge of new technologies, systems, processes and management approaches;
- Intensified contacts with colleagues from the UK and new contacts with international railway engineers and operators;
- Knowledge of railway networks in different countries;
- Exposure to difference cultures.
An important secondary benefit is the development of new personal links.
View a write-up of the 2016 tour on pages 66 – 69 of Rail Engineer magazine.
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