SPAIN: Catalan regional operator FGC is ‘committed to creating a world of railway engineering specialists’ by updating the syllabus for a Masters course in Railway Traction Power Systems which it helps to co-ordinate with several local institutions.

On July 1, Joaquim Olivé, Director of the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya, met with FGC Director-General Pere Calvet to review the first year of the course and agree improvements for the second, which starts in October this year. The Masters will be co-ordinated by FGC and FPC, in partnership with the Escola Politècnica Superior d’Enginyeria de Vilanova, which specialises in railway studies, and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

In addition, a range of domestic and international industry players will advise the co-ordinators on the content of the syllabus. The Masters course is only a first step in FGC’s ambition to disseminate its own engineering knowledge on a wider scale through best practice ‘based on the Catalan model’.

To achieve this wider objective, FGC proposes to create the Fundació Catalana del Ferrocarril to undertake ‘training, outreach, research and innovation’. The foundation will focus on the socio-economic benefits of railways and ‘the value of sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental respect’. It will also be tasked with overseeing the opportunities offered by the Masters course and FGC’s relationship with the various academic institutions in the region to ensure the next generation of highly skilled railway engineers is brought through successfully, the company says.