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Porterbrook Innovation Hub, source: Porterbrook

Porterbrook converts train into Innovation Hub

British rolling stock operating company Porterbrook has converted a four-car Class 319 train into Innovation Hub. The modified unit will become a static testbed for the development of new ideas and hasten improvements to passenger services.

The innovative vehicle will be used by small and medium-sized enterprises for a free demonstration of their ideas in a real train environment. Over 25 companies have been selected to show more than 30 new products and innovations on the testbed. “We hope it will pave the way for brilliant new ideas and technologies to be implemented on the railways. Innovation is the life-blood of the rail industry,” said Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook.

Focus areas

The Innovation Hub was established in order to focus on innovations in four areas:

  • environmentally friendly manufacturing processes,
  • improved passenger facilities,
  • new uses of data and connectivity,
  • system monitoring.

“As an industry steeped in heritage, it’s essential that we keep our fingers on the pulse of new technology and customer needs, and this is something that we at Porterbrook put at the core of what we do,” added Mary Grant. She also noted that the Innovation Hub will be used by suppliers all-year-round, as a facility for customer visits and demonstrations.

Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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