The Rail Alliance is just one of the organisations that operates from Quinton Rail Technology Centre – one of the UK’s approved Test & Trials facilities –

The Quinton Rail Technology Centre site has a long history dating back to its years as a Royal Engineers supply base in the Second World War. Decommis­sioned by the Ministry of Defence in the late 1990s it then became a privately owned site. In 2005, Motorail Logistics (set-up by Ruth Flack, CEO) took over the railway infrastructure, now renamed the Quinton Rail Technology Centre. She and her team have transformed it into the site it is today.

The QRTC has a key strategic role to play in the UK rail sector. On its vast site companies such as Motorail, Total Tank Solutions (a successful part­nership between Motorail and LCM Environmen­tal), Vivarail, Chrysalis Rail, the ABC Consortium and of course, the Rail Alliance (not to mention the water voles, deer, buzzards, skylarks, owls, badg­ers and bats amongst other co-tenants!) operate and contribute a huge amount to the sector. It also boasts a wealth of strategic partners including top Universities such as Birmingham, Coventry and Warwick, each playing their part during this last decade.

The site at Long Marston is the largest and most extensive rail storage facility in the UK and its customers read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of rolling stock ownership. It consists of some 20km (12 miles) of storage sidings and is connected to the national rail network at Honeybourne on the Worcester to London line – served by all the Freight Operating Companies (FOCs), taking advantage of 24/7 ac­cess. There is storage capacity for approximately 1000 items of rolling stock, and it also has 4ha (around ten acres) of open hard-standing based storage and approximately 2000m2 of covered workshops along with associated handling equip­ment and cranage. QRTC is constantly looking to invest in new facilities and equipment to meet its many customers’ needs.

QRTC subsidiary Motorail currently has con­tracts for the storage of traction and rolling stock (passenger and freight) with all of the ROSCOs (Porterbrook, Angel, Eversholt), VTG, GE, DB Schenker, DB Regio, Direct Rail Services, Vivarail and others. For a number of these companies it also stores wheel-sets, bogies, internal furnish­ings, body shells, general components and so on. This service in some cases consists of the man­agement of the company’s entire stock of spares.

The development plans don’t stop here. Ambi­tious plans are in place to develop the site further and in particular to create a world class test track facility within the CP5 period (yes, CP5). QRTC is the UK’s leading facility for system-based testing, trialling and product development purposes. Boasting the only endurance track (i.e. looped) it can cope with maximum speeds of 50kph (31mph) and is ideal for a wide range of uses including offering the UK’s only crash test facility, plus product approvals, training, publicity/market­ing and so on. It is regularly used by the Emer­gency Services and Special Forces for technical training. It has the longest OHLE span away from the national network, and is launching the UK’s first light rail test facility. This is a £1m investment.