The company responsible for the nation's railway infrastructure has thrown a lifeline to 200 former Longbridge workers.

Network Rail (NR) has offered the company's skilled workforce the chance to "join in the task of rebuilding Britain's railway".

The Rover Task Force, set up to help employees and supply firms recover from the loss of MG Rover, said the announcement proved there could be a "silver lining" for workers.

NR's deputy chief executive, Iain Coucher, said: "Longbridge contains a vast pool of talent.

"The workers have exactly the sort of skills we need to help us rebuild Britain's railway."

NR, which has seen its role in the rail industry grow further following the passing of the Railways Act this month, has identified 192 vacancies in the immediate Birmingham area, offering a wide variety of job opportunities, including: engineers, project managers, signallers and maintenance workers.

A job fair will be held within or close to the Longbridge plant within the next two weeks, where MG Rover workers will be able to talk to NR about the jobs on offer.

The company is offering full training to allow workers to convert their existing skills, experience and expertise to the specific disciplines needed in the rail industry.

A spokesman for the Rover Task Force, led by development agency The decision to invite Longbridge workers to apply for posts within NR builds on the company's recent commitments to training and development.

In the last year, it has introduced six-month conversion courses taking skilled engineers from other industries on to the railways and one of the UK's biggest apprenticeship schemes offering over 1,000 places for 17-19 year olds over the next five years.