Bouygues tipped for £25m Dudley Very Light Rail centre

Aaron Morby 4 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

McLaughlin and Harvey lands £49m Stornoway port job

Blasting of 750,000t of rock and piling to start in next few weeks
3 months ago

Glencar bags 456,000 sq ft spec shed in Crewe

Expanding contractor clinches third big job for logistics developer PLP
5 months ago

Gilbert Ash wins £22m Brighton College arts centre

Work to start on performing arts building later this month
5 months ago

HG Construction scoops £60m Leeds student tower

First project in city is a near 700-room scheme for student developer SCAPE
5 months ago

Colas wins £14m Dover rapid bus route build

Firm starts work this month on route for Dover Fastrack, Kent’s first zero-emission bus service
5 months ago

Mace to start 39-storey London Bridge student tower

Groundwork starts for 905-bed student accommodation three years after planning consent
5 months ago

Go-ahead for City of London 644-room student scheme

Developer Dominvs drops plan for Europe's greenest hotel for student accommodation
5 months ago

Kier wins £30m net-zero Weston Super Mare academy

Contractor starts main construction for Winterstoke Hundred Academy expansion
5 months ago

Green light for £125m Eden Project North

Eden is waiting on a £70m public funding bid
5 months ago

BCEGI confirmed for phase 3 of £1bn Middlewood Locks

Developer Scarborough sticks with Chinese contractor for 189-home 'Railings' phase
5 months ago

McLaren submits plans for £85m Leeds build-to-rent tower

Work expected to start this summer on latest city scheme
5 months ago

Overbury gets green light for £300m Citi Tower refurb

Revamp of 42-storey Canary Wharf tower will be one of London's biggest ever refurb jobs
5 months ago

McAleer & Rushe confirms £23m Manchester hotel job

Work to start on 17 storey Maldron hotel next month
5 months ago

Realstar and Lendlease ink £120m London build to rent deal

Forward funding deal for 251 private rental flats at Deptford Landings scheme
5 months ago

Go-ahead for £40m Manchester spec office scheme

Local firm PP O'Connor to demolish Speakers House for 17-storey office block
5 months ago

Spanish giant lands deal to build £683m waste power plant

New plant will turn black bin bag waste into electricity
5 months ago

Henry wins six Ealing council housing projects

Henry Construction secures £40m West London council homes deal
5 months ago

Mace lands £300m London court and police complex

Main construction works to start on Fleet Street site this autumn
5 months ago

Graham bags £30m Birmingham build to rent job

Work set to start Crown Works residential scheme in the Colmore Business District
5 months ago

Green light for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Kier and Mace bidding for revamp project with three storey glulam building at its heart
5 months ago

Galliford Try bags £28m Dover inland border control facility

Major inland border facility to be built alongside the A2 outside of Dover
5 months ago

Plans go in for £280m Leeds Whitehall Riverside scheme

Major office and flats scheme to be built next to River Aire
5 months ago

Plans in for 350-flat Salford student scheme

Developer X1 hopes to start 15-storey building later this year
5 months ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

17-storey hotel will be the 'cornerstone' of Phase 2
5 months ago

Enabling works start at £400m Manchester First Street

Downing to start main construction in March of three resi buildings rising up to 45 storeys
5 months ago

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

Phased building programme to start towards the end of the year
5 months ago

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
5 months ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
5 months ago

Winvic to start UK’s largest speculative shed

Ellesmere Port warehouse understood to be worth around £80m
5 months ago

Kier signs deal for £169m Luton hospital revamp

Main construction work to start this month and last until 2024
5 months ago

Contractor services