Porterbrook takes over Long Marston and announces Rail Innovation Centre

Porterbrook, the rolling stock owner and asset manager, today added the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre to its portfolio of railway assets.

The Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre covers 135-acres, offering a 2-mile circular test track and over 12-miles of secure train storage facilities, connected to the national rail network. Porterbrook plans to significantly invest and upgrade the on-site facilities to benefit customers and suppliers across the rail industry, as well as bringing new jobs and skills to the area.

The site is located just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, and falls within the Warwickshire, West Midlands and Midlands Connect boundaries. Long Marston is Porterbrook’s first operational and delivery facility. It complements the company’s existing London HQ and its East Midlands engineering design and asset management centre, located in Derby, at the heart of Britain’s railway.

Porterbrook’s existing partners, Chrysalis and the University of Birmingham, will remain on site. Over time, they will be joined by other businesses who share an ambition to transform Long Marston into a leading centre for railway innovation.

Porterbrook Chief Executive Mary Grant said:

“I am delighted to bring Long Marston and its skilled people into the Porterbrook family. Our decision to add this extensive facility into our portfolio means that this site now has firm strategic direction and a secure long-term future.”

“To meet the ambitions set-out by the ‘Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail’ we need to have an unremitting focus upon sustainable delivery, innovation and collaboration. Porterbrook is committed to supporting this ambition and our new Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre will help achieve this.”

The UK’s first hydrogen-powered train, HydroFLEX, will be based at Long Marston. The latest version of the HydroFLEX will be attending COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.