Global Centre of Rail Excellence shows European reach with Getzner collaboration 

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) and Getzner – a European specialist in vibration isolation technology and superstructure protection – have agreed a new innovation collaboration. 

Based at the new GCRE facility currently being constructed in South Wales, the partnership is designed to support innovation in elastic components for the railway.

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence is a major new research, testing and certification facility for rolling stock, infrastructure and cutting edge new rail technologies currently being constructed in South Wales. The new facility is being built to support a growing rail and infrastructure innovation market across the UK and Europe. 

Getzner will utilise the world class research and testing infrastructure being developed at GCRE to develop and test new technologies and products. 

The Memorandum of Understanding will allow Getzner to use the extensive, 700-hectare GCRE site to undertake Research and Development (R&D) and develop new products, strengthening its reputation as the leading global specialist in elastic solutions for the railway network. 

The deal will also allow Getzner to use GCRE as a platform from which the company can showcase the development of emerging products and technologies to new commercial customers across Europe and beyond. 

Chief Executive of GCRE Limited, Simon Jones, said: 

“Getzner are a global leader in vibration isolation technology and its fantastic to agree this innovation partnership which is going to be of huge benefit to both sides. 

“For Getzner the ability to harness the world class research, testing and certification facilities we will have on site will allow them to continue to push the boundaries of innovation in new technology and product development, securing their position as leaders in their field. 

“For GCRE the deal is a major coup as it shows the significant commercial appeal of the facilities we are building. Getzner are a major player in vibration infrastructure design across Europe and the world and in GCRE they see a unique facility that can help them develop their ideas and undertake ground-breaking research and development. 

“Our collaboration will allow the unique facilities and services available at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence site to support the development of innovative Getzner products. This will be particularly important in the coming years as innovation plays a bigger role in the transition to net zero and the search for more durable and cost-effective infrastructure solutions.  

“Importantly, this partnership will include using our site as a location from which the new products Getzner develops can be showcased to it’s growing customer base. As a live and operational railway site, GCRE offers unique advantages to the company in showing the functionality of their new technologies to new clients, opening up significant commercial opportunities for the company. 

“What this agreement demonstrates is the significant demand coming from major clients across Europe and the wide range of practical uses to which the GCRE facility can be put.

“This is a long-term partnership and further highlights the growing commercial confidence in GCRE as more international manufacturers sign up as customers for our site.” 

Senior Vice President of Railway Division Thomas Gamsjäger of Getzner said: 

“Railway is the Green Mobility option for public transportation in the future. The mobility plans in Europe demand a huge increase in passenger traffic on rails. Therefore, all operators are pushing their networks to be more reliable, decrease maintenance times and increase availability of trains. Our products play a central role in reaching this goal. For this we need partners like GCRE which offer us the option to do field tests in and get data out of the track and optimize our products and services according to the need of the operators.

“We always strive to develop safe, well performing and well tested products for our customers. A partnership like this helps to get more information about the behaviour of our products in the track, which inevitably will result in better suited solutions for the whole system.

“As innovation is key to our success an open dialogue with other specialists in this field is vital for us. Additionally, to working closely with several universities, a partnership with GCRE helps us to get a different view on our products and take the next step in finding the best solution for our customers.

“Quality plays a central role in our company. We always test our products to the heart in our laboratory. However, we always want to see how they behave in the track. So next to setting up test tracks with several potential customers this partnership is a perfect possibility to get a broader view on the behaviour of our products and understand their role in the whole system.”

“We strongly believe that we can only work on the right solutions if we understand the whole system. Our partnership with GCRE enables information in a defined surrounding to find out the right parameters to make the future track more available, sustainable, and safe.

“The ideal world would be a maintenance free superstructure and investments are done to get closer to these goals. The mobility plans force us to reach this situation and the famous Life-Cycle-Cost approach and predictive maintenance are no longer buzzwords. Nowadays there is a clear decision to do these investments, as we simply no longer have the time and the people to do maintenance in track due to increased railway usage, tight train schedules and missing work force.

“These boundary conditions are challenging us as a supplier of products which increase the lifetime of a superstructure and bringing down the noise level in urban areas. We are investing a lot of resources and money in designing our products in our laboratories to validate the calculated properties. But the last piece of the puzzle are the track tests in real life and this we can´t simulate on our own.

“For this we need partners like GCRE which offer us the option to do field tests and gain data out of the track and optimize our products and services according to the need of the operators. As an innovation leader for elastic solutions, we highly benefit from cooperations like with GCRE, which offer us testing infrastructure to optimize the complete system, reduce maintenance cycles significantly and bring down noise levels in urban areas.

“These kind of partnerships are not only beneficial for us as a supplier, this should improve the railway system in total and finally all railway passengers will benefit from reliable train connections and availability of the network.”

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