Plans for £100m rail test facility in Wales

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A tri-ode unit on the Rhymney line. Photo: Welsh government.
A tri-mode unit on the Rhymney line. Photo: Welsh government.

The Welsh Government has revealed plans to build a world-class rail testing facility in Wales.

Although the actual location of the site is still to be decided, the test centre will support rolling stock and infrastructure testing, maintenance, storage and decommissioning.

In a short announcement, the Welsh Government said it would also offer a “bespoke innovation accelerator”.

The preferred site is the inactive open cast mine in Nant Helen and the nearby operational coal-washery site in Onllwyn.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates estimated the cost of the facility at £100 million and said it was their aspiration to create a global centre of rail excellence in rail.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates said: “Last year, Welsh Government and CAF announced the first modern train manufacturing facility to be built here. The factory is nearing completion, and trains for use in Wales will soon be built there.”

He added: “From a standing start a few years ago, Wales is now developing as a home for our domestic rail industry. There is more we can do. I want our country recognised across the UK and Europe as a major hub.

“Our Economic Action Plan signalled a new approach to creating opportunities for developing our economy. I’m now signalling the next chapter of implementation of that plan.”


Read more: Welsh Government awards Wales and Borders rail franchise


 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I personally think that it’s a good idea on what Wales is heading in the right direction of providing new jobs locally.

    And to build and manufacture new trains and transportation such as trams. And possibly new tube trains for parts of the London Underground network such as Bakerloo Line, Central Line and/or Waterloo & City Line to bring in new tube stocks to replace the ageing stocks that were built in the period of the 1970’s-1990’s.

    And also new light rail vehicles that could also be built in Wales. Rather than building them in European countries ie Germany, France, Italy, Spain and further afield (ie Japan & USA).

    I think it’s a good investment for Wales to continue creating new jobs and to help provide better transport for the whole nation in the UK (including England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland) and in Europe and worldwide.

  2. Does it make sense to build another facility when there are already several sites around the country covering most of the potential requirements?

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