Ricardo & GCRE Agree Memorandum on Future Strategic Alliance

Ricardo to advise UK rail research and test facility on certification and approvals processes.

Ricardo has agreed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE), under which it will provide a range of important advisory services to support the new facility planned for South Wales.

A train travelling at speed next to an empty track
“Having such a world-class facility here on our doorstep will be a major coup for the UK rail sector”

Under the agreement, Ricardo will work with GCRE’s leadership teams to help define what the global rail sector requires from a modern infrastructure and rolling stock test and research facility, with a particular focus on how on-site approvals and certification services can be delivered.

Certification will be a critical feature of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence facility and Ricardo will provide advice and support for the development of this important service, drawing on insights from client relationships around the world.

A New State-of-the-Art Innovation Centre for Europe’s Railways

GCRE will be a new global centre for research, testing and certification of rolling stock, infrastructure and cutting-edge new technologies.

GCRE will feature two electrified test loops, one which will support high quality rolling stock testing, the other for infrastructure innovation. The 700-hectare site on which the facility will be located is equivalent to the size of Gibraltar and will also be home to an extensive range of research and development infrastructure that can support rail decarbonisation and the transition to net zero.

The facility is hoped to open in 2026 and once fully operational GCRE will be the first fully integrated, single site railway testing and research centre anywhere in Europe.

Rob Forde, GCRE Limited Director of Strategy and Skills, met with Ryan Anderson, Business Development Manager for Ricardo’s rail team on October 17th to formally sign the agreement.

Creative Partnership

Claire Ruggiero, UK Operations Director for Ricardo’s rail business, said:

“Having such a world-class facility here on our doorstep will be a major coup for the UK rail sector.

“Its presence will forge new collaborations, both domestic and an international, and inspire a future generation of rail technicians and engineers to push ahead with ideas and products that could have a huge impact on railways all around the world. Through this agreement, Ricardo can bring valuable insight and resources from the earliest stages of the facility’s development, including an international perspective that will guide its design and service offerings to ensure it can play a truly global role over the long-term future.”

GCRE Limited Director of Strategy and Skills, Rob Forde, said:

“It’s fantastic to agree this partnership with Ricardo, such a high-profile and respected name in the rail industry. The Global Centre of Rail Excellence that we are building in South Wales is set to become Europe’s premier site for rail research, testing and innovation, providing a fantastic platform at which we can work together.

“This partnership signals, once again, the very strong commercial appetite that exists for the services that GCRE will provide. In areas such as infrastructure innovation and showcasing there is nothing like our facility in Europe.

“Everyone at GCRE is looking forward to developing this exciting and creative partnership with the talented Ricardo team.”

This article was originally published by Ricardo Rail.

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