Mavin, a UK-based IT services firm, is deploying a containerized prefabricated data center to an upcoming rail testing center in Wales, UK.

The company has announced it will install a Powercube data center at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GRCE) in Onllwyn, South Wales.

Global Centre of Rail Excellence Mavin
A Powercube being delivered – Mavin

Announced in 2018 and due to be fully open in 2025, the 550-acre GRCE facility is a government-owned site dedicated to the research, testing, and certification of rolling stock, infrastructure, and new rail technologies.

The deal with Mavin will see GCRE deploy a custom-designed and built Powercube – a multi-unit and combined Containerised Modular Data Centre (CMDC), Signal Equipment Room (SER), and an interconnecting Access and Staging Unit – to support the testing operations that will be carried out at the railway site.

The Powercube – to be pre-built off-site in Neath – will help GCRE support clients with data analysis as they undertake testing and research on the site’s two rail tracks – a 7km track for rolling stock testing, and a second track for infrastructure innovation.

The former coal mining site in Onllwyn closed in 2022 after some 200 years. The UK currently has no all-purpose railway testing center, with most vehicles being tested in Europe at sites such as Wildenrath in Germany or Velim in the Czech Republic.

“We are delighted to agree this partnership with Mavin and to utilize their cutting-edge Powercube design at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence site,” said GCRE Limited chief executive, Simon Jones. “The ambition is to establish GCRE as Europe’s premier site for rail innovation, becoming a one-stop shop for the rail sector, serving markets not just in the UK but across Europe and the Middle East. In providing world-class research and testing facilities, it's important that the supporting infrastructure that we have on-site is of the highest quality – and is as forward-looking as the innovation we will be doing on our tracks."

Mavin founder and Powercube director, Russ Bartley, added: “We are extremely proud to be involved with this pivotal project from the start, and are looking forward to strengthening the partnership with GCRE over the next few years, as opportunities for broader engagement with GCRE and other critical industries allow us to evolve our solutions to meet the demands of the future."

Founded in 2005, Mavin’s services include data center migration, ITSM, and desktop services, VOIP, and containerized data centers.

The company recently delivered a custom modular Signal Equipment Room (SER) for Transport for London, as part of the TIES Living Lab program.