Porterbrook takes over Long Marston and announces Rail Innovation Centre

28 June 2021 | Porterbrook

Porterbrook, the rolling stock owner and asset manager, today added the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre to its portfolio of railway assets.

The Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre covers 135-acres, offering a 2-mile circular test track and over 12-miles of secure train storage facilities, connected to the national rail network. Porterbrook plans to significantly invest and upgrade the on-site facilities to benefit customers and suppliers across the rail industry, as well as bringing new  jobs and skills to the area.

The site is located just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, and falls within the Warwickshire, West Midlands and Midlands Connect boundaries. Long Marston is Porterbrook’s first operational and delivery facility. It complements the company’s existing London HQ and its East Midlands engineering design and asset management centre, located in Derby, at the heart of Britain’s railway. 

Porterbrook’s existing partners, Chrysalis and the University of Birmingham, will remain on site. Over time, they will be joined by other businesses who share an ambition to transform Long Marston into a leading centre for railway innovation.

Porterbrook Chief Executive Mary Grant said: “I am delighted to bring Long Marston and its skilled people into the Porterbrook family. Our decision to add this extensive facility into our portfolio means that this site now 
has firm strategic direction and a secure long-term future.”

“To meet the ambitions set-out by the ‘Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail’ we need to have an unremitting focus upon sustainable delivery, innovation and collaboration. Porterbrook is committed to supporting this ambition and our new Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre will help achieve this.”

The UK’s first hydrogen-powered train, HydroFLEX, will be based at Long Marston. The latest version of the HydroFLEX will be attending COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

Notes to Editors

Media Contacts

Porterbrook Leasing
Rupert Brennan Brown, Director of Stakeholder Engagement Rupert@porterbrook.co.uk or +44 (0)7973 950 923

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About Porterbrook
• Porterbrook has been at the heart of the UK rail network for over 25 years and owns over a quarter of the national passenger rail fleet. We provide high-quality, digitally enabled rolling stock which helps deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable railway
• We currently have around 4,000 vehicles on lease or on order. Since privatisation, we have invested £3bn in new passenger and freight vehicles, and we are looking to invest a further £1bn in Britain’s railway over the coming years
• Our role as a leading asset owner and manager goes well beyond financing. Our rolling stock is designed to serve 30-35 years in front-line service. By ensuring that these vehicles live out their full asset life, with periodic upgrades and enhancements, we maximise value to passengers and taxpayers, whilst minimising carbon emissions and environmental impact
• Innovation is at the heart of Porterbrook’s approach to whole life asset management. In collaboration with industry and academic partners, we are developing a portfolio of digitally enabled and re-tractioned rolling stock. Our business is at the forefront of developing of hydrogen, hybrid and battery powered trains. We are also working with SMEs and Innovate UK to significantly reduce emissions from our existing diesel fleets
• We are committed to supporting and developing the UK rail supply chain. We trust 100+ UKbased companies to maintain and upgrade our assets, investing over £3m a week and supporting c.7,000 jobs
• Porterbrook employs 160 people of which three quarters are engineers and project managers. In addition, over a third of Porterbrook’s workforce is female including a number of our executive team 
• In October 2014, the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and a consortium of Utilities Trust of Australia (“UTA”), The Infrastructure Fund (“TIF”) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Pension Fund (“RBS”) 

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