Thousands visit Rail Live at the QRTC
Rail Live, the leading trackside event in the UK, returned last month to the QRTC (Quinton Rail Technology Centre) at Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
The event attracted thousands of delegates and exhibitors from across the UK, as well as international visitors.
All aspects of the rail industry were in focus at the event - from traction & rolling stock, rail plant and infrastructure, electrification and signalling demonstrations to displays of engineering, rail maintenance materials & product development/testing safety, digital products and innovation.
The QRTC is a major rail asset to the county, as one of the few mainline rail linked rail test sites in the UK. It features 2.4km of test track and 20km of rail storage, and hosts a number of specialist rail companies. These include Viva Rail, who have developed a new commuter shuttle train based on former London Underground rolling stock, known as the D-Train. The new train ran for the first time with passengers, operating a one-off shuttle between Honeybourne Station and the Long Marston Site.
This is an exciting time for the rail industry in the UK with £100bn of spending promised by government by 2020, and major rail infrastructure projects promised including HS2 and Crossrail 2. Across the country, local and regional schemes similar to Midlands Connect and the Coventry & Warwickshire NUCKLE are also in development, and up to 5,500 new rail carriages are promised.
This unprecedented recent level of investment provides significant opportunities for Coventry & Warwickshire businesses to access the rail supply chain. It is also an opportunity to attract new rail led inward investment to Warwickshire.
The inward investment service Invest in Warwickshire, has been working with colleagues at the DIT (Department for International Trade) Investment Hub in Birmingham, and LEP area colleagues from across the Midlands Engine area, to research the local and Midlands rail supply and develop marketing materials to promote the Midlands Rail industry offer to potential investors.
Colleagues from Invest in Warwickshire exhibited at Rail Live with Midlands Engine area colleagues and a number of inward investment leads were generated. The group were also at Railtex at the NEC in May, where a lunch event was held with existing and potential investors.
The Midlands Engine Opportunities in Rail brochure can be found here, on the Midlands Engine website.