British rolling stock firm Porterbrook has taken over the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre, expanding its portfolio of railway assets.

Covering 134 acres, the centre provides a 3.21km circular test track and more than 19.31km of train storage facilities, linked to the national rail network.

The company is currently drafting plans for investing and modernising the on-site facilities.

This site will be Porterbrook’s first operational and delivery centre, adding to the company’s existing Derby’s East Midlands engineering design and asset management centre and London headquarters.

It falls within the Warwickshire, West Midlands and Midlands Connect boundaries.

Porterbrook’s current partners Chrysalis and the University of Birmingham will continue to work at the centre.

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By GlobalData

Later, other businesses will join them for facilitating the centre’s transformation.

Porterbrook chief executive Mary Grant said: “To meet the ambitions set out by the ‘Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail’, we need to have an unremitting focus upon sustainable delivery, innovation and collaboration.

“Porterbrook is committed to supporting this ambition and our new Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre will help achieve this.”

The company also revealed that HydroFLEX, the country’s first hydrogen-powered train, is expected to be developed at Long Marston.

In November, HydroFLEX’s latest version will be unveiled at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

In a separate development, HS2 is set to begin permanent works on Old Oak Common station in north-west London.

As part of these construction works, the first permanent structure will be installed initially.

After completion, the station will feature six HS2 platforms, four Crossrail platforms, and four conventional rail platforms.

HS2 recently announced that it is developing a digital virtual reality technology to evaluate and improve its designs for aiding commuters to navigate around the Old Oak Common station.