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GCRE & Mavin Powercube partner for groundbreaking rail innovation site in Wales
Wed, 28th Feb 2024

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) and Mavin Powercube have teamed up to embed the Powercube into the design of the 700-hectare rail innovation site GCRE is building in South Wales. The upcoming facility, supported by both Welsh and UK governments, aspires to become Europe's foremost site for rail research, testing, certification of rolling stock, infrastructure, and novel energy technologies.

The collaboration with Mavin Powercube will result in a tailor-made multi-unit Powercube being incorporated into the developing GCRE facility. The custom Powercube will amalgamate features of a Containerised Modular Data Centre (CMDC), Signal Equipment Room (SER), and an Access and Staging Unit. This technology will facilitate extensive testing operations to be performed at the site.

Apart from offering abundant data analysis, the Powercube will assist the GCRE in supporting clients' research on the site's pair of rail tracks. The infrastructure includes a 7km track dedicated to rolling stock testing and a secondary track purposed for infrastructure innovation.

The Powercube—to be manufactured off-site near the GCRE site in Neath—will be a pivotal, multi-purpose element. As Mavin Powercube is a key player in producing award-winning, custom, scalable, and secure Containerised Modular Data Centres (CMDCs) since 2005, the Powercube's versatility, including uses in Train Movement Rooms (TMR), Signal Equipment Rooms (SER), Electric Switch Rooms (ESR) and Communications Equipment Rooms (CER) will greatly benefit the facility. The off-site production process will expedite deployment while increasing sustainability and reducing costs, site interruption and carbon emissions.

GCRE Limited's Chief Executive, Simon Jones, expressed his delight over the partnership with Mavin, stating that their "cutting edge Powercube design" will boost the GCRE's bid to become "Europe's premier site for rail innovation." Jones continued, "The Powercube utilises cutting-edge, off-site manufacturing processes, being delivered to site ready to go and mitigating lengthy site disruption. Critically it helps us to reduce the carbon emissions of our build with less on-site traffic."

Jones reiterated the Powercube's potential to amplify the facility's capabilities and range of services. "By utilising the leading-edge data centre solution Mavin brings, GCRE is putting in strong foundations for the future," Jones remarked.

Russ Bartley, the founder and Powercube director at Mavin, expressed the company's pride in being part of the project. Alluding to the potential positive employment outcomes for locals, Bartley stated, "Our build facility is based in Wales, so the positive outcomes for local people in terms of employment and opportunity are a key factor for us."

He further emphasised that the project will help accelerate a path to net-zero emissions and foster the development of new rail and transport technologies. "The Powercube's off-site build also means significant reductions in construction vehicles on-site, therefore reducing timelines, costs and carbon emissions," Bartley concluded.