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How essential insights from the MTR Academy of Hong Kong are facilitating the industry’s growth.

Posted by Luke Upton on Feb 3, 2017

MTR Academy.jpgIn our changing and growing industry, new perspectives are required but not always easy to find. As rail and metro operations become more complex, the demand for capable management continues to increase. Many parts of the world are experiencing a major shortage of competent managers and professional staff. This gap is set to grow even further as highly qualified, experienced professionals retire. But high quality rail and metro services are critical to the growth of nations and as a driver of economic development. So ensuring there is competent management ready to help drive the industry forward is an essential aspect of the growth of rail and metro transport. And now, one of the world’s finest rail operators, MTR Corporation has taken on this challenge head first and launched the MTR Academy in Hong Kong which is inviting rail executives and professionals, whatever their focus from across the world to take their place on the programmes.

Opened in November 2016, the vision of the MTR Academy is to be a globally recognised railway management and engineering centre of excellence that offers high quality programmes for Hong Kong residents, those in the Mainland of China and around the world. There are few better organisations than MTR to offer training, in Hong Kong alone more than 5.4 million passenger trips are made on their network on a normal weekday with train reliability of 99.95% consistently, making it one of the most heavily-used and reliable railways in the world. In addition they also operate rapid transit systems in London, Stockholm, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Melbourne.

Speaking at the opening of the Academy, Chairman of MTR Corporation Professor Frederick Ma stated; “We are extremely honoured to have received tremendous support from the government, the academic community and professional institutions to establish the MTR Academy. In setting up this Academy, we aim to meet three important objectives: First, we wish to leverage on MTR’s extensive railway experience and expertise to nurture the next generations of railway professionals; second, we want to share our knowledge with railway operators and authorities worldwide; and finally, we hope MTR Academy will become a world-class training hub for railway professionals from the Mainland of China, the Belt and Road region and around the world."

Resized MTR Academy Opening.jpgThrough its tailor-made training curriculum, the MTR Academy aims to drive excellence for existing railway operations, railway expansion and major infrastructure projects in the decades to come. And by training railway talents and developing railway experts and executives, the Academy will support the Belt and Road Initiative and contribute to the advancement of service and operational excellence of the railway industry worldwide.

MTR Corporation is already a trusted advisor to rail and metro companies and projects around the world and at the core of the global training offering are the Corporate Programmes led by MTR’s senior managers through a series of presentations, case reviews and interactive discussions. Plus site visits to MTR facilities and business hubs – mixing the theory with practical knowledge.

First up is the Railway Executive Programme (REP) on 24-29 April 2017, designed for executives and senior managers of metro operators, light rail operators and authorities it focusses on the core topics that are crucial for driving safety, customer experience excellence, service reliability, non-fare revenue, brown field project management, transit oriented development and developing cost effective operations.

For operators and managers of Operations Departments of railway operator companies and authorities, there is a perfect professional programme - Operation Management (RPP-OM) for Management Level on 8 -13 May 2017 focused on practical experience sharing on operating topics. This programme runs on a (5+1) day itinerary designed to provide an insight into MTR's Operations and Maintenance management philosophy, systems and processes striving for customer experience, near capacity operation management, being a community railway and new line planning.

The final professional programme currently available is Asset Management (RPP-AM) for Management Level on 22-27 May 2017, designed especially for engineers and managers of technical departments of railway operator companies and authorities. This 5+1 day programme addresses the key topics critical to driving safety, improving reliability and cost effectiveness, managing brown field projects and the planning of new extensions.

These unique courses from the perspective of a railway operator are delivered in English and open to applicants from across the world. Graduates become alumni of the MTR Academy and are invited to sign up as members of the Rail Transit Excellence Community. But be quick, the nomination deadline for these three professional programmes is 24 February 2017!

In addition to these professional programme, the MTR Academy also offer an Advanced Diploma in Railway Engineering, a 2-year, part time course, which was launched this month. Accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) it focusses on providing students with the essential knowledge and practical skills in railway engineering to ensure high quality and reliable railway operations in today’s technology-driven environment.

The MTR Academy also offers Short Courses with a focus on translating the issues in the day-to-day business and operation of the railway industry into courses and seminars for industry-related professionals. These invaluable courses include a Railway Introduction Series and Railway 101 and are currently open for applications.

We spoke to Morris Cheung the President of the MTR Academy to learn a little more about his role in its development; “Having been with MTR for more than three decades, I have witnessed amazing changes within the organisation that have helped MTR grow into one of the best railway operators in the world. Our management philosophy has evolved into one that is people-centric, creating a distinctive brand of “MTR service” that is reflected in every facet of our business. Our operation processes have been developed into best practices in the industry. And both in Hong Kong, China and overseas, we are able to change how local railway operators perceive themselves, and give them insights and practical tools to implement changes in management and operation.”

“With the founding of MTR Academy, we will be able to make use of our decades of experience and world-wide industry network to tailor programmes to suit your professional development needs. Whether you are an aspiring learner, a railway professional, a high-flying executive, a railway operator or a transport authority, we are honoured to be part of your amazing journey” concludes Mr. Cheung.

To learn more about the MTR Academy and how it can help you and your team develop essential skills for the rail industry, visit  or e-mail: 

For more features like this... 

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How high-speed rail can learn from Japan’s earthquake early warning system.

Keeping Pace with the Demands of the Digital Passenger – now published! 

The innovative asset management approach of WSP giving Singapore’s MRT a new lease of life.

Read the Rail and Metro Innovation Guide 2017

Topics: Signalling

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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