Siemens - National Training Academy for Rail

Design & Build

A partnership between the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering and Siemens brought about the new National Training Academy for Rail at Northampton – a building that Clegg Construction was appointed to construct.

The building was a public/private sector initiative, with the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE), the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT), providing half the funds, whilst industry partner Siemens contributed the other 50 per cent.


The new two-storey steel framed facility incorporates a mix of composite insulated cladding along with translucent polycarbonate rain-screen cladding to create a unique aesthetic which can be seen at close proximity from the West Coast Mainline, Northampton Loop as it passes the Siemens rail depot.

Site Challenges

The site was located next to an active railway line, requiring us to engage with and secure necessary permissions from Network Rail. In addition, the site itself was located within Siemens’ Northampton facility, liaised with estate, security, and infrastructure representatives to coordinate the works and design interfaces. A particular challenge involved finalising the exact route for a data connection between a remote site entrance barrier and the new building to avoid existing services and features.


Services installations incorporated space heating from ducted ventilation, a combination of surface and recessed LED light fittings throughout the building. In addition, our works include specialist audio/visual specialist equipment and compressed air plant and distribution to the Training Hall. The design also included a section of rail within the building as well as coordination for the client’s overhead crane installations

Environment and Social Value

Having officially opened in autumn 2015, the academy is helping to grow the UK talent pool in rail engineering, plugging the skills gap that could otherwise become a barrier to growth.

Benefitting future generations

The new facility has attracted lots of attention with Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, commenting: “The academy for rail, the first of its kind in the UK, is a crucial part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain. Generations of young people will benefit from the apprenticeships and training provided here to find new jobs and get on in life.”