Who tests trains today?

Following the demise of British Rail in 1994 various companies 'cherry-picked' the engineering and research side of the organisation.

This resulted in the complete loss of the Research & Development Division at Derby, which has never recovered nor been adequately replaced to this day.

The Regional and HQ Departments of Mechanical & Electrical Engineers also suffered and were virtually wiped out

Railway research today is carried out by a combination of universities and Railway Safety & Standards Board (RSSB) but to a very limited extent.

At one time the successors to the DM&EE still carried out the majority of on-track testing but today this is no longer the case and testing today is of a different nature from the days of specialist dynamometer and test cars

Since NR took over the running of the monitoring fleet and DB Schenker won the right to operate it, Serco (who were the last of the line dating back to MR testing at Derby) no longer have an operating licence nor Railway Safety Case (RSC) to carry out testing.

Various train operators e.g. DB Schenker and Freightliner have operational safety cases which allow them to run test trains, and a number of passenger TOCs have also carried out their own testing, where they have an appropriate RSC.

There are still a few independent companies in UK who can carry out limited traction & rolling stock and infrastructure testing

bulletSerco Assurance
bullet SNC- Lavalin (formerly InterFleet Technology)
bullet Atkins Rail

and one or two  specialist companies who can undertake larger projects

bulletData Acquisition and Testing Services Ltd

The Old Dalby test track has survived and looks to have a secure future since NR have taken it over after the demise of BRB (Residual).

So a very different picture today

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