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We are developing proposals for a modern rail industry testing facility in South Wales.

Part of:
First published:
13 July 2018
Last updated:


Project status: planning
Region/county: south Wales
Start date: end 2017
End date: 2023/2024
Cost: approximately £100m
Partners: Neath Port Talbot Council and Powys Council.

What we are doing

We are developing proposals for a rail testing complex with 2 electrified oval tracks. They will allow for testing speeds of up to 110mph with the option for a tunnel section and a full platform environment for testing and training. Proposals include:

  • a large, well-equipped maintenance facility
  • secure storage for around 400 vehicles
  • a decommissioning facility and an R&D innovation accelerator
  • education centre with labs
  • office space and training facilities in a dynamic environment

Why we are doing it

We want to deliver a world class train testing facility in the UK. We are confident this will be a significant attraction to investors and provide a vital service to UK and overseas based train manufacturers, the wider industry and the supply chain.

Current progress

We have entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Neath Port Talbot and Powys local authorities and in partnership we are developing a masterplan. We are looking at financial and commercial opportunities with the rail industry and are developing a planning application.

The preferred site is located in Onllwyn and Nant Helen in the Dulais valley on the Neath Port Talbot and Powys border.

We consulted on the proposals from 2 July to 7 October 2019.

Next steps

We will look at feedback from industry stakeholders and the 2019 consultation.

The environmental impact assessment will influence the final proposals for a Global centre of rail excellence.

We will submit the planning application in early 2020.

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