Bouygues tipped for £25m Dudley Very Light Rail centre

Aaron Morby 6 years 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
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

Galliford Try to upgrade Red Arrows base

Contractor seals quartet of RAF base upgrades
8 months ago

Galliford Try bags £87m Brent Cross build to rent job

Firm picks up another three blocks at Argent's North London £8bn regeneration scheme
9 months ago

Balfour starts £67m Edinburgh school campus

Passivhaus certified campus buildings will replace Liberton High School
9 months ago

Red wins Bristol retirement village £14m expansion

44 extra care flats to be built at former Frys chocolate factory
9 months ago

Caddick bags UK’s largest fertiliser plant job

Yorkshire contractor seals £28m contract for new plant in Yorkshire
10 months ago

Mace wins concrete bunkers for world’s most powerful laser

Firm will build two 7m tall bunkers with 2m thick radiation resistant concrete walls
10 months ago

Robertson to deliver £20m Alloa Wellbeing Hub and school

Design work will now start on Wellbeing Hub and Lochies primary school
10 months ago

Green light for Canada Water next phase of 380 homes

Zone G plan includes major resi tower, supermarket and park
10 months ago

Mace to start £230m Landsec London office job

Timber Square project will pioneer a hybrid cross laminate timber and steel superstructure
10 months ago

British Land multi-storey logistics hub approved

London urban last-mile logistics hub pipeline hits £1.3bn
10 months ago

£350m Birmingham triple tower scheme approved

Vast curving Ringway Centre to be demolished for 1,750 flats development
10 months ago

Midgard lands £245m Tottenham Hale towers

Three towers of up to 38 storeys complete north London regeneration scheme
10 months ago

Go-ahead for Wates £35m Hartlepool leisure centre job

Work on the Highlight waterfront centre to start in November
10 months ago

Green light for 690-home Birmingham Smithfield scheme

Prosperity Group plans to start work in Autumn next year on major Smithfield scheme
10 months ago

Go-ahead for 289 homes next to Saltaire World Heritage site

Ambitious plan to demolish a vacant Bradford office complex for new residential quarter
10 months ago

Plans in for 800-bed Leeds student and retail scheme

Major scheme will replace The Core shopping centre in the city
10 months ago

McAleer & Rushe awarded £60m Barking flats job

Work to start in November on near 200 rental homes project
10 months ago

ISG clinches £155m Cat D prison expansion

Firm to deliver 780 new places at three existing prison locations
10 months ago

27-storey Salford student tower approved

540-bed student block to be built on former site of McDonalds' regional HQ
10 months ago

Morgan Sindall £48m Dumfries school job approved

Building work to start before the end of 2023
10 months ago

Bouygues/Murphy JV tipped for £2.3bn Thames tunnel job

Frontrunner emerges for Lower Thames Crossing 4.2km tunnel job
10 months ago

Vinci/McAlpine JV to start £105m NHS rehabilitation centre

Treasury clears New Hospital Programme job to start main construction
10 months ago

Three giant lab buildings approved at £700m Oxford R&D district

Phase 2 Oxford North office and lab buildings to deliver 460,000 sq ft of space
10 months ago

RG Group to build tallest student block in the world

Contractor confirmed on 45-storey tower in Leeds
10 months ago

Vinci wins major St Helens town centre revamp

£90m first phase includes new market hall, 120-bed hotel and over 60 flats
10 months ago

Work to start this year on Manchester £250m spa resort

Developer Therme gets green light for re-engineered 28-acre Trafford complex
10 months ago

Barhale JV sign-off for £18m Dewsbury sewage works upgrade

Project forms part of Yorkshire Water’s £500m investment in Phosphorous removal
10 months ago

Murphy seals main build on £124m Essex station

Contractor lands main contract after successful start on enabling works package
10 months ago

GMI lands latest £42m phase of lab cluster

Citylabs life sciences complex in Manchester continues to grow
10 months ago

Green light for Canada Water commercial scheme

Twin-tower scheme will offer "a new type of office for London"
10 months ago

Contractor services