Porterbrook purchases Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre

Porterbrook has agreed a deal with St Modwen to acquire the freehold of the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre in Warwickshire.

Porterbrook has been operating the site since June 2021, and already invested over £13m to upgrade and enhance facilities across the centre.

“This deal provides absolute clarity for our business, our shareholders and the wider rail industry over the long-term future of Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre” said Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook.

“It gives us the certainty to move forwards with our plans and invest further to deliver an exceptional facility for testing, training, maintenance and storage for the railway.”

The company has overseen a transformation of the 135-acre mainline connected location, including tarmacking roads to significantly improve access, upgrading lighting and installing a new state-of-the-art security system. The centre now has enhanced training and office facilities, and old storage buildings have been replaced with similar structures to maintain the heritage of the former Royal Engineers’ WWII supply depot.

One of the largest upgrades is the new £3m Asset Management Facility which opened in April 2023, complete with three pitted roads able to accommodate vehicles of up to 23 metres, providing high-quality space for maintenance and upgrades.

The site also secured ISO 14001 certification in acknowledgment of the business’s positive approach to environmental management.

Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre will continue to host the annual two-day Rail Live event, the UK’s largest outdoor rail exhibition which welcomed over 6000 visitors and 273 exhibitors in 2023.