Endorsers of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence Vision

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) is one of the most important and creative infrastructure projects in rail today and we have been incredibly lucky over the last few years to have the support of government and so many in industry who see such great potential in the world class facility we are developing.

The development is taking its next, major step by seeking private sector investment. To support that vital process we are grateful to all those who have come together from across the industry to sign the open letter below.

If you would like to add your name to the letter, please get in touch – andrew.johnson@gcre.wales

A site for world class testing

Dear Simon,

The rail industry faces a variety of significant challenges over the coming years:

  • To tackle the climate crisis, we have to decarbonise the railway network and prove the reliability, sustainability and effectiveness of the innovations needed for the high-quality, attractive and integrated public transport networks of the future;
  • To better manage resources at a time of challenging public finances, especially post Covid and with the continuing conflict in the Ukraine, we have to find new and creative ways to lower the costs of rail through the development of more affordable railway infrastructure, improved cost control and more effective delivery and management of major projects;
  • For the good of passengers, freight users and railway funders we have to grasp the exciting opportunities offered by new digital and connected technologies;
  • And to develop the UK as a global leader in rail research, manufacturing and standards development we have to ensure the eco-system supporting rail innovation, proving and showcasing – from R&D through to production and servicing – is set up to support these ambitions.

All of these challenges depend upon decreasing the time taken to bring reliable, assured products to market, without compromising safety, customer experience or cost.

One of the barriers to that happening is that the rail sector, both in the UK and in Europe, lacks a purpose-built, offline facility at which single site, integrated testing and proving of rolling stock, infrastructure and cutting-edge new technologies can take place.

The current patchwork of facilities do not provide the breadth of capabilities the modern rail network requires. At such a crucial time, we need a custom built, high-quality rail innovation facility, that can support the rapid development and deployment of new technologies and help tackle the strategic challenges we face across the whole industry.

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) can provide such a facility and is a once in a generation opportunity we as an industry must take.

So as a railway industry we have come together to put our names to this open letter to confirm our support for the vision and market demand for the Global Centre of Rail Excellence.

When GCRE is operational we believe that it will offer a broad range of services and functionality that will benefit our organisation. Many of the planned services are not available elsewhere in a way which works for business at a consolidated location and at the scale GCRE will offer.

GCRE’s replication of a mainline railway environment will provide an unparalleled opportunity for the industry to operate in a safe and controlled space, enabling faster proving and deployment of new technologies, as well as opening new possibilities for showcasing the best in rail innovation. Currently, organisations like ours have to find inefficient and time consuming workaround options to prove products, systems and system integration.

We also recognise that rail has a collective responsibility to demonstrate how our industry is playing a positive role in the creation of new jobs and skills and the wider development of a fairer economy. GCRE will undoubtedly stimulate wider economic development opportunities in a deindustrialised area and generate high quality employment opportunities, both locally and throughout the wider supply chain. Having closely followed the development and progress of the GCRE, we firmly believe it will play a crucial role in advancing the railway and demonstrating its wider social impact, too.

We are committed to supporting the development of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence and can see value to our business in the range of services it is offering. We understand that you will use this letter with potential investors to demonstrate widespread market demand for the services that GCRE will provide.

Yours sincerely,

Hitachi Rail

Abi Broadley Consulting Ltd

Academii

Acorn by Synergie

Accelera by Cummins

AE Petsche

Akriveia

Alstom

Amaro Group Ltd

Amtrack Business Management Group Ltd

Angel Trains

Anstee Indication Systems

Aralia

Argenta

Art of Eco

Aura Brand Solutions

Bailey Rail & Logistics

BCM GRC

Belvoir Rail

Big Bear Plastic Products

Bridgeway Consulting

British Steel

British Standards Institution

CADO

Call of the Wild

Cardiff University

Cairn Cross

CB Frost

Chiltern Railways

Clayton Equipment

Crossrail International

Clemtech

Concretene

Composite Braiding

CPC Project Services

Dave Carne Rail Estimating Ltd

D/Gauge

D2 Rail

DHL

DigiSig Rail

Drone Evolution

Dyer Engineering

DWG Infraco Ltd

EAO

East Midlands Railway

Efficiency Ups

enGauged Ltd

EPSILON TEN LTD

European Metal Recycling

EURNEX – European Rail Research Network of Excellence

Eversholt

Excalibur Screwbolts Ltd

Fenix Rail Systems

Fishbone Solutions

Flotec

Furrer+Frey AG

GB Railfreight

Getzner

Geobrugg

Gemmak Engineering

Göbel & Partner Ltd

Gower Consulting Ltd

GRAMM Barrier Systems Ltd

Grinsty Rail

Hayley Rail

Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe

HS1

Ibstock Group

Ideas Ltd

Infinitive Group

Ingram Networks

Interimconsult

Intuitive Ltd

Involve RPI

Intertek

Innova Communications

IPS Design

Jewers Doors Ltd

JK Consulting UK Ltd

Jobson James Rail

Keltbray

Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd

Lapp

Littlewood Fencing

Loram UK

MarchantCain

Maquina Technical Services

McLaren Applied

Mimicrete Ltd

Modern Railways

Morgan Advanced Materials Ltd

Morgan Marine

Mosdorfer Rail Ltd

Muirhead

Nationwide

NGRT

NTN Europe

OE Electrics

OLE Limited

Oleo International

One Big Circle

Onwave

PA Consulting

Pauley

Petards Rail

Pisys.net

Phoenix Contact

PlasmaTrack

Portaramp

Pro Rail Services

ProRail B.V.

Protium Green Hydrogen Supply Ltd

Professor Clive Roberts, Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (University of Birmingham) and Lead, Centres of Excellence in Digital Systems and in Railway Testing, UK Rail Research and Innovation Network

Racine Railroad Products

Rail Business Daily

Rail Competence and Compliance

Rail Delivery Group

Rail ETC

Rail Forum

Railmotive

Rail Partners

RailSense Solutons Ltd

Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB)

Railway Industry Association (RIA)

Railstons

Railway Project Services

Random Railways

Resonate Group Limited

Ricardo Plc (Rail)

Rhodar

Rhomberg Sersa

Ricardo

Rope & Sling Ltd

RTS Infrastructure

Segula

Senceive

Scott Parnell

Silicon Microgravity

SKyBlue Engineering

SLC Rail

Stadler Rail

STC INSISO

Staytite

Stauff

Story Contracting

Streetwave

Structural Fabrications

Swiss Federal Railways SBB

Tensar

The Mental Wealth Company

Thales

Time 24

Trafikverket – Swedish Transport Administration

TRB Lightweight Structures

Trough-Tec Systems

TVS

TWI Technology Centre (Wales)

TXM Consult

TXM Recruit

Unipart Rail

Universal Signalling

Unite the Union

UR Group

Viper Innovations

Voestalpine Signaling UK

Wago

Wabtec

Waterman Infrastructure and Environmental

Weston Analytics

Wilkes Engineering

Winder Phillips

West Midlands Rail Executive

Western Gateway

Wray Castle

Xrail Group

ZF Services