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The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) will provide state-of the-art rolling stock testing, infrastructure testing and storage and maintenance for the UK and international rail industry. The open access facility will accelerate innovation, reduce costs, improve passenger experience and address challenges of de-carbonisation.
Outline planning consent for GCRE was granted by Neath Port Talbot Council and Powys County Council in 2021. Various tier one contractors have been appointed including Hirwaun-based Walters Group who are working with Atkins to prepare the site for construction.
Arcadis are developing the rail systems design and Mott MacDonald is focused on the net zero energy strategy. A multidisciplinary team has been appointed who have produced an overarching masterplan for the transformation of the site.
This integrated design process will include public consultation to engage and integrate the views of local residents.
The project is split in to three core phases:
The provision of sidings for rolling stock from June 2023
The building of two electrified test loops, one high speed test loop 6.9Km long and a 4km Infrastructure test loop together with supporting infrastructure and buildings from 2024
The addition of expanded stabling, maintenance, and commissioning facilities along with research facilities, hotel, and business park in 2025 and ongoing.
We expect the first phase of the masterplan construction to be completed by the middle of 2025.