High speed trains and railway infrastructure are set to be put through their paces at a new rail research and innovation facility being built in south Wales, and Connected Places Catapult has signed a deal to work with the centre on areas of common interest.
Construction of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has begun in a former open cast coal mine near Powys on the fringes of the Brecon Beacons. The facility will feature two electrified rail test loops – one a 7km track for continuous testing of rolling stock, and another track for testing railway infrastructure such as overhead lines, signalling, track and emerging rail technologies.
The development includes a £50 Million contribution from the Welsh Government, £20 Million from the UK Government and £7.4 Million from Innovate UK for research and development activity at the site. The facility is set to provide new high-quality job and training opportunities for people living in the region, which is a de-industrialised area of the UK.
Senior representatives from Connected Places Catapult and the Global Centre of Rail Excellence met on site on 6 October to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, setting out how each party can work together on cutting edge research and innovation projects.