Colin and Ruth Flack – A fond farewell to Quinton Technology Centre

After 16 years at Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC), and with an ambitious vision to create the facility that it is today, current QRTC lease holders Colin and Ruth Flack are handing back the keys to land owner St Modwen and moving on to new ventures.

Based in Long Marston, Warwickshire, QRTC was originally established in 1940 as an instrumental base in response to WWII but then decommissioned 10 years later to become a Ministry of Defence rail logistics base. The Flack’s took over the near derelict site in 2005 and have nurtured and developed it to such an extent, that today, it is recognised as a significant, strategic rail business hub and is just one four Testing Centres of Excellence (the others are owned by Network Rail and Transport for London).  QRTC is also the home of Europe’s largest outdoor railway show, Rail Live; a landmark event conceived and brought to life by Colin and Ruth.

As the largest specialist off-lease rolling stock storage site in the country, it has close to 20km of storage sidings. The Motorail team has also built an outstanding reputation for successfully supporting innovative and specialist businesses.  Vivarail’s battery train, the Porterbrook/Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education’s HydroFLEX, Innovate UK/UK Tram’s Lightweight Test Track (the only one in the country), and Network Rail’s ’flow’ bridge, made of lightweight Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP), aptly named named to reflect its modern, flowing design, are just a few examples of innovation excellence that owe their existence to the team at QRTC.

In addition to so many achievements, the site has been as much about business as it has been about family.  Ruth’s brother, Steve Dunmore has been key to the success of QRTC as Managing Director of Motorail and responsible for the entire operation of the site covering safety, logistics, maintenance, and development, amongst many other things – and the occasional shooing off of deer or two that get a little too close to the action on the tracks! 

Colin Flack, said, “It is with heavy hearts that we have to say goodbye, but as with all things in life, change is something that has to be embraced, and we are very excited about the future plans we have in place.  At the moment we are looking forward to taking a few weeks off to enjoy time with friends and famiy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful family team at Motorail who have been with us every step of the way on this journey and for everyone who has supported us.  Without this, we would never have achieved the vision that is the reality of QRTC today.”  

With so much to celebrate, it was only fitting to say farewell in style! 01547, QRTC’s faithful old loco and one of two workhorses of the operation, took Colin, Ruth, and Steve for their final ride out to the sidings to the incredible sound of 300 firecrackers, declaring not the end, but only the beginning of a new adventure.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Contact Colin Flack, colin.flack@qrtc.co.uk / 07825 516560 for more information.

Quinton Rail Technology Centre is based in Long Marston, Warwickshire and managed by Motorail (https://www.motorail.co.uk/about-us)

Colin Flack was recognised as for his services as an industry leader and entrepreneur in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 and awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal.

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