Warwickshire-based Vivarail is moving to a new facility in Southam (near Leamington Spa) to underpin its growing order book, as it develops a range of emission-free trains.
Crucially, the relocation from its present site at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC) 26 miles away will enable its core team of skilled workers to remain with the company.
) began operations five years ago at the QRTC, where it designed, built and tested its prototype DEMU (diesel-electric multiple unit), using the 3km circular test track.
The company then went on to build the UK’s first modern battery train and launched unit 230002 in Scotland in 2018, proving that emission-free battery-powered trains are viable.
Adrian Shooter, CEO of Vivarail, said: “I find it hard to believe all we have achieved in such a short space of time. We have grown from start-up to fully fledged manufacturer, and it is with a touch of sadness that we will have to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues at QRTC.
"However, we need to consolidate all our operations under one roof, and our new facility at Southam will ensure a seamless method of working with stores, design, engineering and production.
"It means we can continue to refine our build and delivery processes and to deliver high-quality trains to our customers.”
As well as moving production to Southam, Vivarail will also have a new test track at Barry in South Wales. A contract has been signed with Cambrian Transport to use its 1.5-mile track for testing and mileage accumulation.
John Buxton, managing director of Cambrian Transport, said: “We are excited that Vivarail has chosen to use our railway to test its trains. Our operations at Barry continue to expand, providing training and employment opportunities for local people.”