Echelon in 'High Speed 1' development scheme

From: Echelon
Published: Tue May 29 2007

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium is the setting for a novel form of assessment for would-be customer care staff with High Speed 1 (previously known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link). These centres form part of learning consultancy Echelon's on-going selection of, and support for, these staff.

The selection process begins this month for staff who will work at the refurbished St Pancras International and new station Ebbsfleet International, although the service is not due to come into operation on the new section of track from Fawkham Junction, in Kent, to St Pancras, until 14th November. Candidates for the role of Customer Service Officer can access details at and and the job involves providing excellent service for this new concept retail and transport experience.

Under the contract with High Speed 1, Echelon will run a series of assessment centres - taking place at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in north London.

Each candidate selected for interview will be confronted with a number of role play scenes, involving professional actors. The candidate's reactions to these scenarios will determine his/her suitability to be a customer service officer or manager.

"In order to be a successful customer care officer with High Speed 1, you have to have much more than a personable manner," explained David Hill, Echelon's managing director. "Among other things, you have to have well developed powers of observation, tact, confidence and initiative.

"This novel use of professional actors – to assess candidates – is essential because it represents the most cost-effective and lifelike way of testing these qualities in the candidates," he added.

"Moreover, since St Pancras is being re-developed along the lines of Grand Central Station in New York – complete with gourmet restaurants and the longest champagne bar in Europe – the customer care staff there will have to know more than just the basics of which train goes from which platform!"


About High Speed 1

Full UK Government approval was granted in 1996 for the two sections of the 69-mile (108km) High Speed 1 – previously known as Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL). The opening date of the first phase, 43km, was 28th September 2003 – on time and on budget. The second phase, again on time and within budget will open on 14th November 2007.

Once the whole line is open in 2007, London - Paris times should be cut to two hours 15 minutes, with Brussels possible in two hours. The Channel Tunnel portal is just 35 minutes from St Pancras and, from 2009, Kent services will see significant reductions with Ashford taking around 36 minutes from London via High Speed 1.
High Speed 1 domestic services will connect London with Gravesend, Margate and Broadstairs by joining the classic network at Ebbsfleet and Stratford, while services to Canterbury, Ramsgate and, possibly, Dover will continue to Ashford to join existing routes there.

About Echelon Learning

Echelon Learning is a consultancy-led publishing house that integrates electronically-delivered knowledge and learning into the development of management skills and business performance. Its consulting division has won four national training awards for customer service initiatives.


Media contact: Peter Muir Tel + 44 (0)1296 715228

Sales contact: David Hill Tel + 44 (0)20 8568 1500

Company: Echelon
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00 44 (0) 1 727 860405

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