‘The opportunity to strengthen our international role and partnerships’

Global Centre of Rail Excellence enhances innovation credentials with UIC membership

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has taken the next major step in its development by becoming a member of UIC – the International Union of Railways.

Created in 1922, UIC is a worldwide organisation for the promotion of railway transportation and brings together more than 200 members across all 5 continents. UIC helps to facilitate the implementation of solutions to major technical and infrastructure challenges in rail, including the development of innovation programs and the preparation of policy reports, guidelines and International Railway Solution (IRS) documents.

At the 103rd UIC General Assembly in Paris last week, GCRE was endorsed as its newest member.

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence is 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 GCRE facility is being developed to support a growing rail testing and infrastructure innovation market across Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

Chief Executive of GCRE Limited, Simon Jones, said: 

“The Global Centre of Rail Excellence is delighted to become the latest member of UIC. The body has a long and influential history in rail and it’s great to take our place so that we can contribute to some of the major technical and innovation challenges faced by the global railway community.

“We believe that GCRE can really add value to the organisation. We will be unique in Europe in terms of the world class facilities for rail research, testing and innovation that we will offer on site. We believe that having GCRE around the table will offer UIC and its members will provide a supporting mechanism to enable some of the biggest technical and infrastructure challenges to be overcome.

“For GCRE this opens up an important new set of relationships at a global level. It gives us the opportunity to strengthen our international role and deepen partnerships across the world. Areas like Europe and the Middle East are key markets with which we can engage and UIC membership will give us added credibility with key partners.

“The global railway community faces a number of major challenges in the coming years – from decarbonisation of the network; to the development of more climate resilient infrastructure and the challenge of managing ever more complex projects and digital networks. All of that requires more focused and coordinated research, innovation and integrated testing and accreditation. GCRE provides a unique platform where that critical work can take place.

“By being at the table and actively contributing to the important technical work that UIC does, we believe that we can contribute something very important to the future railway system.”

GCRE European Brand Ambassador and former UIC Director Europe, Simon Fletcher, added:

“Having been involved both in the work of UIC and now supporting the development of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence, I believe very strongly that this is an important new member for the organisation.

“GCRE offers governments, manufacturers and operators across Europe, the Middle East and beyond an important new platform at which it can undertake and focus a range of critical research and testing projects and actively enable the acceleration of time to implementation of innovative technologies. I’m very enthused about the work we can do together.”

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