The hub is intended for use by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which play an integral role in the British rail industry’s supply chain, but face barriers to entry to demonstrate new ideas and innovations in a real environment.

Porterbrook created the hub by repurposing a four-car class 319 EMU to serve as a working environment for a wide range of new technologies and to test and showcase passenger facing improvements.

The hub will focus on:

  • environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes
  • improved passenger facilities
  • new uses of data and connectivity, and
  • system monitoring.

More than 25 companies have been selected to demonstrate more than 30 new products and innovations in the hub at its first public exhibition at Rail Live 2019 in Long Marston, Britain, for free.

Porterbrook says it aims to make the Innovation Hub a sustainable annual showcase for the latest innovations, which will be used by suppliers from Britain and internationally all year round as a facility for customer visits and demonstrations.