The Anonymous Widower

What Is The £150m Global Centre For Rail Excellence Scheme In South Wales?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Live.

This sub-title is a good summary.

The Welsh Government project aims to create a world first in testing trains and rail infrastructure at the same facility

It looks like it will be very comprehensive and is a classic example of the sort of things we should do to attract world class companies to the UK.

This paragraph talks about one of the site’s uses.

Rail infrastructure cannot be tested on a live railway because there isn’t a safe way of doing it. The internal track will have a wagon travelling around at 40mph putting new infrastructure through its paces with rigorous assessment. When owner of the UK rail network Network Rail, which is committed to using the facility, want to test equipment it has to use the Pueblo testing centre in Colorado, as do equivalent organisations in Europe.

It’s surely easier to go from anywhere in Western Europe to Wales than Colorado. Especially, if you want to take some equipmement that might weigh several tonnes.


The Welsh seem to have done their homework and also come up with an innovative use for a worked-out open cast coal mine.


March 18, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. Well finally progress.
    From personal experience I can tell you that nobody from Western Europe goes to Colarado to test trains there are more than enough options in Europe (Vilem, Wildenrath) to do the kind of tests most want to do.
    Personally I think the South Wales scheme to serve Europe is a white elephant.

    Comment by fammorris | October 29, 2022 | Reply

  2. Well the project advances following the initial investment of circa £70 promised by the Welsh and UK Governments. It has to be said that the budget for the first phase has risen from £150 to £250 million for the ‘basic’ railway with further phases of potential investments including development of the wider commercial potential, e.g. the creation of a new business technology park and hotel. This takes the total cost, including initial property developments and the traction power supply to £400 million.
    The Welsh Government is looking for investors from across the world to take an equity stake in this project. How convinced will the world’s rail industry be of the viability of the project, we should know in the next 4 or 6 months.

    Comment by fammorris | November 25, 2022 | Reply

  3. Two points.

    There is definitely a need for more testing facilities.

    But do we do the best we can to use what we’ve already got.

    I seem to remember Greater Anglia did a lot of testing of the new trains on the lines in East Anglia. Admittedly lines South from Norwich are not very busy, but could we use lines like that more often?

    Comment by AnonW | November 25, 2022 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: