Bouygues tipped for £25m Dudley Very Light Rail centre

Aaron Morby 7 months ago
Share

Bouygues is understood to be in the frame to deliver a £25m innovation and test centre in Dudley looking into the next generation of Very Light Rail coaches.

Interior of the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre

The project will put Dudley at the forefront of developing ways to reduce the weight and cost of railcars and track for a cheaper alternative to heavy rail and traditional ‘Metro’ urban transport systems.

An engineering innovation centre, which will be built at the site of the old Dudley Train Station in Castlehill, got the planning green light earlier this month.

Sources said that work could begin as early as May on the £25m project. Facilities will include a triple-height engineering hall, research laboratories, conference and seminar rooms, and offices for 45 people, alongside more public areas, including exhibition spaces, a café and an auditorium.

There will also be a 2km test track along a disused railway line and platforms. The new line will comprise two tracks, one for pilot testing of VLR vehicles manufactured at the centre, and the other for passenger services to the Dudley Port station, providing connections to major public areas, including the Birmingham City Centre, Dudley town centre, Dudley Zoo and Black County museums.

Very Light Rail could put the old rail routes in towns and cities back into service at a fraction of the cost of heavier rail alternatives.

Very Light Rail_Exterior_lowres

External view of the proposed Innovation Centre, facing north

The project is being overseen by the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwick Manufacturing Group of the University of Warwick.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “With work expected to start on site in the coming months, I’m excited about what this means for Dudley and the opportunity it brings to create a product that will see us lead the field in the global development of very light rail technology – a significant boost to the local economy.”

Last September, researchers from the University of Warwick unveiled an early concept design of what a very light rail system in Coventry could look like.

University of Warwick vision of a system for Coventry

As part of their plans, the researchers are hoping to demonstrate their vehicles in spring, 2019, at the Dudley very light rail innovation centre.

Latest project news

Costain confirms £150m M6 smart motorway deal

Construction to start in September on 16km stretch from junction 21-26
4 months ago

BAM starts £30m IM Group Solihull HQ

IM Group is moving its HQ from Coleshill to make way for HS2
4 months ago

Galliford Try wins £67m M56 motorway upgrade

Work to start next spring on junction 6-8, west of Manchester airport
5 months ago

Morgan Sindall to build £23m Suffolk waste centre

New waste hub backed by three local councils
5 months ago

Henry Bros wins £23m Nottingham Trent Uni project

Work to start in June on new Engineering Faculty
5 months ago

Graham to kick-off £200m Brighton scheme for U+I

First contractor named on Preston Barracks project
5 months ago

Mace on board for £100m Olympia revamp

Exhibition centre will remain open during major refurbishment programme
5 months ago

Wates wins £23m contract with London’s Brent Council

Work to start on Knowles House redevelopment in Harlesden
5 months ago

Speller Metcalfe wins £18m Coventry Uni job

Speller to start next month on former hospital site at Gulson Road
5 months ago

Bouygues tipped for £123m Cardiff innovation campus

Cardiff University close to selecting firm after Kier moved on after pre-construction
5 months ago

Morrison agrees £59m price for East Ayrshire school complex

New Cumnock school complex incorporates three primary schools and two academies
5 months ago

Sisk confirms next £96m office at Manchester Circle Square

Total orders at Manchester city centre scheme reach £240m
5 months ago

Skanska signs £141m landmark Knightsbridge rebuild

Keltbray starts piling work after complex site clearance job
5 months ago

Watkin Jones to start £68m Reading build to rent scheme

M&G and Lochailort forward fund 315-flat Thames Quarter high-rise project
5 months ago

ISG wins two Edinburgh hotel builds worth £40m-plus

Hospitality sector expertise books Premier Inn and Yotel projects
5 months ago

Trio net £1.3bn Clyde submarine base framework

VolkerStevin, Kier Graham Defence and Morgan Sindall secure 10-year work programme
5 months ago

Russells wins second office refit at NOMA site

Work starts on Dantzic warehouse conversion to offices in Manchester
5 months ago

Graham / Hochtief JV set for Brent Cross infrastructure deal

Works will pave the way for £1.4bn shopping centre revamp
5 months ago

Balfour lands £13m Scarborough cliff stabilisation

Work will start at the end of May on cliff behind Scarborough Spa
5 months ago

Wates wins £650m job to start refurb of Parliament

Northern Estate revamp will provide temporary home for MPs during main renovation programme
5 months ago

Willmott Dixon wins sole supplier £2.5bn mega framework

Places for People sole supplier deal for major project hub criticised for squeezing out smaller firms
5 months ago

Jones Bros wins retendered £15.5m Wigan Link road

Work to start in June after delay caused by Galliford Try pulling out at design stage
5 months ago

Eleven firms win £3.3bn road pavement framework

Tarmac Trading comes top in Highways England pavement panel line-up
5 months ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £21m Dover port infrastructure deal

Twelve months of work will transform ten hectare site
5 months ago

Two major PRS schemes lodged for Leeds Monk Bridge site

BAM and Sir Robert McAlpine involved in plans for 820 build to rent homes
5 months ago

McLaren tipped for £60m Tottenham riverside housing

Work will start this summer on high-rise blocks at Hale Wharf in Lee Valley
6 months ago

Vinci gets go-ahead for £65m Birmingham hospital

Work to start this summer on Queen Elizabeth Hospital expansion
6 months ago

Wates clinches £58m Nottingham College hub

Wates will work closely with college’s construction team to deliver gateway project
6 months ago

Murphy scoops £44m Gosport oil tanks rebuild

Work to start shortly on first fuel tank replacements for the Navy
6 months ago

BAM wins Bristol engineering building

Enabling works later this summer at the University of the West of England's Frenchay campus
6 months ago

Contractor services