QRTC is the only privately owned and independent rail testing and trialling site in the UK

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QRTC is nestled into the Warwickshire countryside, just 6 miles south of Stratford upon Avon.

The site has a pedigree that goes back to the dark days of WW2 post Dunkirk when Winston Churchill, determined to prepare for the reinvasion of Europe ordered the construction of a number of key Depots, amongst which was the Royal Engineers Central Depot Long Marston. We are very proud of the fact that that much of the beachhead and mobility equipment vital to the success of D-Day started its journey from here.

The business is very much a family affair, Ruth Flack is CEO, her brother Steve the Managing Director and husband Colin looks after Business Development. In a previous life Ruth was the head of the MOD Demilitarisation facility for QinetiQ at Shoeburyness, Steve is a fully qualified Automotive Engineer and Colin is a former Army Colonel.

The business at QRTC of www.qrtc.co.uk is the result of a long-standing partnership between St Modwen the landowners and ourselves. From a virtually derelict site just 10 years ago we have grown the business to such an extent that today we are recognised as one of just 4 Testing Centres of Excellence (the others are owned by Network Rail and Transport for London), we are the largest specialist off lease rolling stock storage site in the country, we host Europe’s largest outdoor railway show, Rail Live annually on behalf of Bauer Media (Rail Magazine) www.raillive.org.uk, we have over 200 people working on site and have become a location that is renowned for supporting innovative and specialist business. In addition to our heavy rail test track we also have the UK’s first Light Rail test track, developed in partnership with UK Tram www.uktram.com and Innovate UK (BEIS) www.innovateuk.org

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Amongst our key partners on site are Porterbrook Leasing Company www.porterbrook.co.uk, who in partnership with the University of Birmingham have developed the world’s first fully hydrogen powered train… Similarly innovative in their approach to the sector are Vivarail who are in the process of remanufacturing former Underground trains into almost new hybrid diesel/battery units. In both cases they are flourishing due to the facilities that QRTC have developed to help them grow.

Amongst our international customers are Cisco from the USA who have been partners here with us for a number of years and we have developed with them a digital test bed that has enabled them to build a number of global products and services, including some “world firsts” in terms of trackside to train data transfer.

We provide training facilities on a regular basis to the blue light services, with a particular emphasis on counter-terrorism and firearms training. Our home team have a background in this world and thus are able to help create realistic scenarios.

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Rail Alliance www.railalliance.co.uk, the UK’s foremost B2B organisation in the sector started its life here over 10 years ago and is truly international. It is now in partnership with the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE) and has over 500 members in the UK alone.

We are very proud of the fact that our work over the years to develop the testing and trials facilities has led to some ground-breaking products being developed particularly by SMEs that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. We hosted the industry’s Testing Voucher Scheme, which was developed by us in partnership with Rail Alliance and the Department for Transport through RSSB www.rssb.co.uk This has been universally recognised as the most successful scheme that has been run in the sector over the past 10 years. We have achieved all of this without any 3rd party support or grants, just our own confidence in ourselves and a willingness to continually reinvest any profits back into the business.

We are very conscious of our duty to the environment and again proud to say that over the last 10 years we have seen the population of Water Voles increase and sustain itself. We work in partnership with organisations like the Vale Wildlife Hospital www.valewildlife.org.uk to provide a safe area to release animals back to an appropriate habitat. Particularly pleasing has been the return to the site of Skylarks and the growth in the population of both Tawny and Barn Owls.

“We provide training facilities on a regular basis to the blue light services, with a particular emphasis on counter-terrorism and firearms training. Our home team have a background in this world and thus are able to help create realistic scenarios. “

Going forward we are working ever closer with the University of Birmingham and with theirs’s and other key partners support we are looking to emulate what our friends across at Horiba-Mira are doing for the Automotive sector with their MIRA Technology Park www.miratechnologypark.com We feel that by continuing to work collaboratively as we do, we can truly create a world class cluster of businesses based around our technology and enterprise zone.

Our motto is “to wonder is to begin to understand” so if you have an interest in testing, trialling or product development why not contact us to see how we can help?

Quinton Rail Technology Centre Station Road, Long Marston Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8PL T: (01789) 721995   | E: colin.flack@qrtc.co.uk

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