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Global centre of rail excellence to come to Wales

Monday June 25th, 2018

Hot on the heels of news the Wales and Borders rail service contract has been awarded to KeolisAmey, Transport Secretary Ken Skates is revealing plans for a world-leading rail testing complex.train_358693Sml

After also attracting CAF here to build our first modern train manufacturing facility, the Welsh Government is responding to the clear demands of major rail companies to establish an integrated ‘Global Centre of Rail Excellence’.

It would offer a bespoke innovation accelerator, rolling stock and infrastructure testing, storage, decommissioning, maintenance and servicing asset to the industry and the wider supply-chain.

A number of potential sites for the centre are still being researched, but one is coming out as the preferred option – the mothballed open cast mine in Nant Helen, on the Powys and Neath Port Talbot border, and the adjacent and operational coal-washery site in Onllwyn.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates said:

“Last year, Welsh Government and CAF announced the first modern train manufacturing facility to be built here. The factory is nearing completion, and trains for use in Wales will soon be built there.

Earlier this month I announced details of the new, transformative, low carbon Wales and Borders rail service.

From a standing start a few years ago, Wales is now developing as a home for our domestic rail industry. There is more we can do. I want our country recognised across the UK and Europe as a major hub. Our Economic Action Plan signalled a new approach to creating opportunities for developing our economy. I’m now signalling the next chapter of implementation of that plan.”

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