1. ITV Report

Plans for 'world-leading' rail testing facility

Credit: PA

A world-leading rail testing complex could be stationed in Wales which would bring high quality jobs to the valleys.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates is revealing plans for an integrated ‘Global Centre of Rail Excellence’.

It would offer an innovation accelerator, rolling stock and infrastructure testing, storage, decommissioning, maintenance and servicing asset to the industry and the wider supply-chain.

Nant Helen, on the Powys and Neath Port Talbot border, and the adjacent and operational coal-washery site in Onllwyn are being considered as potential sites.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates said it would need local and private sector backing:

This is a project that could make an important contribution to the work of the Valleys Taskforce, providing good quality jobs and the skills to do them. I have therefore instructed Welsh Government officials to move to the next stage of business case development, which will involve continued and close partnership working.

It is not a project that can proceed without local support, private sector investment and the commitment of manufacturers, rolling stock companies, network operators and a range of other stakeholders to back it now and into the future.

– Ken Skates AM, Economy Secretary

It is estimated such a facility would cost £100m to deliver.