MxV Rail President & CEO, Kari Gonzales and Chief Executive of GCRE, Simon Jones, tour GCRE’s South Wales facility.
The rail research organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance global railway research efforts
MxV Rail and the UK’s Global Center of Rail Excellence (GCRE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to advance rail technology and innovation worldwide. The agreement will enable the two organizations to collaborate and share technical expertise relating to design and engineering, commercial planning, procurement processes, safety requirements and operational best practice.
MxV Rail (formerly TTCI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads established to support the development and deployment of innovative technologies in the rail industry. The Pueblo, Colorado-based company has a team of more than 300 rail specialists dedicated to improving the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the railroad industry.
Late last year, MxV Rail announced its transition to a new, independent, multi-campus operation in Pueblo, on schedule to be fully functional in October 2022. The new on-track test facility will serve as the epicenter for MxV Rail’s globally renowned research, testing, and training services and will feature the only high-tonnage infrastructure test bed in the world. The high tonnage loop will support a vast array of freight and passenger rail programs including Association of American Railroads (AAR) M-976 truck testing, performance testing for new rail technologies, and qualification testing for rolling stock. The new location will also house a re-imagined Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC), the organization’s fully immersive hazmat response training facility.
“This is an exciting opportunity for both organizations to grow railway research globally,” said MxV Rail President & CEO, Kari Gonzales. “After visiting the expansive facility in South Wales, we look forward to supporting GCRE in their efforts to advance rail research in the UK.”
Simon Jones, Chief Executive of GCRE said: “We share a common ambition to support clients in the global rail industry through the development and operation of purpose-built railway testing centers. Our collaboration will enable these clients to accelerate innovation and improve their own customer’s experience, reduce costs and accelerate decarbonization.
GCRE’s Simon Jones
“This isn’t an exclusive agreement, but it signals our intention to work together in to exchange information, compare knowledge and support our clients with access to our facilities and expertise. It’s a really important step forward for the development of GCRE, and our own high tonnage infrastructure test loop — we’re delighted to have the support of the MxV Rail team.”
GCRE was established by the Welsh Government as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in 2021 with an initial commitment of £50 million ($61.3M). The UK Government is expected to confirm a further £10 million ($12.3M) for research and development along with capital funding of £20 million ($24.5M).
An investment prospectus to attract private funding for the project is also in development ready for launch in the autumn of 2022.
About MxV Rail: MxV Rail is a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads established in 1998 to provide vital support to the nation’s rail industry as its most trusted research, testing, and engineering services partner. Building on its legacy of excellence, TTCI is committed to providing innovative business solutions to solve transportation challenges now and in the future. Through focused funding and strategic planning, TTCI is making key investments in the people and facilities to take on new technological challenges in the rail industry and beyond.
About the Global Centre for Rail Excellence (GCRE)
GCRE is a major infrastructure project that will provide state-of-the-art rolling stock testing, infrastructure testing and storage and maintenance for the UK and international rail industry. Currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh Government (SPV), GCRE was established in 2021 with an initial commitment of £50 million ($61.3M). The UK Government is expected to confirm a further £10 million ($12.3M) for research and development along with capital funding of £20 million ($24.5M)). An investment prospectus to attract private funding for the project is also in development ready for launch in the autumn of 2022.
Spanning the former Nant Helen opencast site and Onllwyn Washery in Neath Port Talbot and Powys, South Wales, it will feature the UK’s first net zero railway and become the ‘one stop shop’ for railway innovation, from research and development, through testing, verification and certification, to applied innovation on mainline passenger and freight railways.
The facility will include two 25KV electrified test loops, one being a 6.9km high-speed rolling stock track with a maximum speed of 177km/h and the other a 4km 65km/h test track. Other facilities will include a dual-platform test environment, rolling stock storage and maintenance facilities, operations and control offices, staff accommodation, shunting staff facilities and connections to the nearby main line. There will also be state of the art secure testing environments; equipment, systems and communications development facilities. Education, training, visitor and conference facilities and an industrial development zone are all envisaged in the wider site.
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