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.

Conclusion

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 | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rival Site For £100m Powys Rail Testing Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Powys County Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Plans to build a £100 million rail testing centre on the edge of Powys could be derailed by a rival plan in England, it has emerged.

The major testing facility at the former Nant Helen open cast mining site on the border between Powys and Neath Port Talbot could face a rival application from German multinational Siemens, which has earmarked a site in Lincolnshire for a rival bid.

It seems, you wait many years for a rail test track and then two come along at the same time.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

£100m Train Test Complex Plans For Neath Valley Backed

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This much-needed project, which some wag has called Project Hornby, seems to be moving on..

This brief description is from the article.

The complex would allow trains to be tested on special tracks – laid out on 4.5 mile (7.3km) and two mile (3.1km) ovals – at speeds of up to 100mph (160kph).

It will certainly test their ability to go round corners.

Hopefully, the test track will shorten the time, it takes new and updated trains into service.

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

£100m Rail Test Complex Plans For Neath Valley

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

This is the first three paragraphs.

Plans for a £100m rail testing complex to work on next generation train technology have been revealed in south Wales.

It is at an early stage but it could be built on the site of a mothballed opencast mine in Neath Port Talbot.

The preferred option would be to site it at the mothballed opencast mine at Nant Helen near the border with Powys and at the coal washery site next door at Onllwyn, which is still operational.

This Google Map shows the massive open-cast mine near the village of Onllwyn.

Note the rail connection at the Northern side of the mine.

Onllwyn has a Wikipedia entry, which says this.

With over 200 years of coal mining behind it, the parish was once home to five pits that employed hundreds of men. Now all that remains is a coal washery and coal processing plant. On the route of the former Neath and Brecon Railway, a freight only routes exists to the coal washery from the South Wales Main Line at Neath.

So at least it’s swapping an old industry, with one that could have a very sparking future.

As I said in Talgo Explores Options For Building UK Test Track.

So perhaps we do need another convenient test track!

The site would be even more convenient, if the South Wales Main Line were to be electrified, through Neath to Swansea.

 

 

June 25, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments