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New rail testing scheme launched for small businesses

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New rail testing scheme launched for small businesses

​Businesses in the West Midlands are being offered subsidised access to test and trial facilities as a way to boost railway innovation.

The University of Birmingham has joined forces with Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC) to offer access to the UK’s only privately owned and independent outdoor rail testing and trialling site.

In order to be eligible, companies need to have signed up to the DIGI-RAIL programme run by the University of Birmingham. The free programme specialises in assisting local small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their product development and rail sector services.

The part-funded project aims to solve challenges within the railway sector and access the opportunities that exist within the industry in the UK and internationally.

Al-Amin Dabo, business development manager for DIGI-RAIL at the University of Birmingham said:

“This is an important initiative that will really help local businesses to take their products to the next stage and bring them ever closer to market application. We are committed to supporting SMEs in rail and we are delighted that QRTC is working with us to help create new opportunities in the supply chain.”

“We encourage local SMEs who have an interest in the rail sector to contact us to discuss how DIGI-RAIL may be able to support their business going forward.

QRTC, based in Warwickshire, has the only looped test track in the UK and is used for reliability, mileage accumulation testing and trialling as well as product development.

Colin Flack, director of QRTC, said:

“We are very proud of the fact that our work over the years to develop the testing and trials facilities has led to some ground-breaking products being developed particularly by SMEs that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. We are delighted to be partnering with University of Birmingham again and we look forward to helping make ideas a reality.”