Secret test track, or something boring!?

Secret test track, or something boring!?

Author
Discussion

CerberusRogue

Original Poster:

715 posts

96 months

Sunday 16th August 2015
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Was looking on Google maps for something and noticed what looked like an epic secret race track in a forest! Any ideas what it really is?

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.3811751,-0.78283...

It's listed as belonging to TRL. Their website says that they are a test lab for vehicle safety, but it's rather vague. I was wondering if they did more because the amount of road they have is fairly substantial, including a figure of eight circuit :-)

Planet Claire

3,113 posts

178 months

Sunday 16th August 2015
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That's exactly what it is. They do a variety of testing for all sorts of things, fairly recently they were testing the new 'Dutch' roundabouts for cyclists. Both me and the OH are on their mailing lists for assisting with their testing. I did one last year that was on behalf of JLR testing the touchscreens of three different products.

Nobby Diesel

1,958 posts

220 months

Sunday 16th August 2015
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They test everything from road surface, to road signs, barriers, lighting, matrix boards etc etc.
There are a few private companies there too.

silverfoxcc

6,809 posts

114 months

Sunday 16th August 2015
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My Neighbour worked there back in the 70's. Gave our club a talk on it.
What pised me off was there was an open day there a few years ago and you could drive a Routemaster or Artic around the site for a fiver.I missed it.. and i live about a mile away.
And yes when we moved in going down the Crowthorne road we sw the 'motorway' and thought is was the M4 or M3, had us puzzled for weeks!

sidekickdmr

4,780 posts

175 months

Monday 17th August 2015
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Ive done some work there, on the track etc.

As people said above, there is a test track, a fake road network with roundabouts and traffic lights, steep hills, rumble strips etc.

basically just to test cars, I was there with Honda testing/filming the new accord.

MantaMike

412 posts

220 months

Monday 17th August 2015
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Hasn't the area of the larger outer test track just been sold for a housing development?

CerberusRogue

Original Poster:

715 posts

96 months

Monday 17th August 2015
quotequote all
Shame they don't hold events there, looks like a great place for a hoon :-)

onyx39

10,634 posts

119 months

Monday 17th August 2015
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Planet Claire said:
That's exactly what it is. They do a variety of testing for all sorts of things, fairly recently they were testing the new 'Dutch' roundabouts for cyclists. Both me and the OH are on their mailing lists for assisting with their testing. I did one last year that was on behalf of JLR testing the touchscreens of three different products.
Do they let other people join said mailing list?
smile

The Walrus

1,852 posts

174 months

Monday 17th August 2015
quotequote all
CerberusRogue said:
Shame they don't hold events there, looks like a great place for a hoon :-)
They did used to up till the mid 90's then complaints and poor behaviour shut it down from hosting many more.

GTI International used to be there for a good 5 years from memory

Planet Claire

3,113 posts

178 months

Monday 17th August 2015
quotequote all
onyx39 said:
Do they let other people join said mailing list?
smile
Yes, but I can't find anything on their new website on how to 'sign up' - it used to be on their old one. Next time I get emailed I'll try to remember to forward it in your direction so that you can ask to be included.

mario328

106 posts

95 months

Monday 17th August 2015
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I used to work there a few years ago when the track was in use. The track was used for full scale vehicle crash testing amongst other things. Sadly the majority of the TRL site will eventually be turned into a new school, businesses and housing estate. I believe the track and central pan area is no longer used, they even used this wide open area for driver training as in skid control. One of my lasting memories was seeing / hearing the touring cars that used to test there on some Friday afternoons - a perk of the job so to speak.
I once drove an American muscle car tow vehicle up and down the track, that was a hoot!

onyx39

10,634 posts

119 months

Monday 17th August 2015
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Must been talking to someone indirectly who works there, with a to requesting permission to hold a meet there. It's apparently been sold to Legal and General, so the answer will be no frown

SimesJH

768 posts

120 months

Tuesday 18th August 2015
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A diesel tuning company called Van Aaken used to be based there some years ago and I took my 300Tdi 110 to have its fuel pump tweaked for improved performance. To be fair to them, they did a good job on it.

At the time, a friend of mine rented office space across from them on the site and used to see dozens of black London taxis there as they were getting their fuel pumps tweaked, supposedly for improved emissions and economy.

I know a few people who worked at the TRRL for many years and are now retired. One, a chap who lives just down the road from our house, was responsible for getting the pedestrian safety legislation through for the front of cars.

Funny how one small innocuous village can be triangulated by three well-known places. Broadmoor, Wellington and the TRRL.

It'll be a huge shame to see the TRRL site ruined and covered in yet more houses. Shame the site couldn't be used for business instead.

rek

117 posts

92 months

Thursday 20th August 2015
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SimesJH said:
At the time, a friend of mine rented office space across from them on the site and used to see dozens of black London taxis there as they were getting their fuel pumps tweaked, supposedly for improved emissions and economy.
We rented offices there for years till they shut the Enterprise Centre. after Van Aaken went that area got used to make a couple of films. used to see a nice Dodge Ram that would occasionally hoon about over there.

AlexRS2782

6,746 posts

182 months

Friday 21st August 2015
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Blimey Van Aaken's a name I haven't heard since the late '90's. Always wondered what happened to them, as I remember when they used to do a fair bit of Fiat tuning and had a Cinquecento turbo demo car. One of my old sixth form friends ended up taking his n/a Punto there and it came back with a bit of a mad turbo conversion bolted on smile

FurryExocet

3,011 posts

150 months

Friday 21st August 2015
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I used to go to Gti International there, as I grew up in the village. The place would be heeving with cars from all over Europe!

Mr Will

13,719 posts

175 months

Friday 21st August 2015
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Not sure about the test track, but there seems to be penis next door...


BlackpoolRock

1,183 posts

121 months

Tuesday 25th August 2015
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Unfortunately they are closing most of it for houses now. I was lucky enough to give the TVR a hoon around it with a local car club just before it was shut to public (car clubs) a couple of years ago. Massive site though.