HS2 Signs R&D Agreement with UKRRIN

HS2 Ltd has signed a research & development agreement with the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network.

As part of its innovation programme, HS2 Ltd has signed an agreement with the top railway research centres in British universities. It will allow HS2 to access leading research capabilities, knowledge and facilities and for it to be at the cutting-edge of rail innovation. The agreement aims to help speed up the time it takes for new technologies and products to go from research to market.

HS2 as an operational railway line has three main goals, which are to increase capacity on the country’s railway network, improve connectivity in the country and make a low-carbon transport option available. Beyond that HS2 wants to promote British innovation and engineering skills, which is why it has entered into this agreement.

The University of Birmingham will co-ordinate UKRRIN activities in support of HS2 Ltd. It will also support R&D from across the three UKRRIN academic centres of excellence:

  • The University of Birmingham will lead on digital systems
  • The University of Southampton will lead on infrastructure
  • Huddersfield University will lead on rolling stock

Head of Innovation Howard Mitchell signed the agreement on behalf of HS2.

Howard Mitchell:

“HS2 is a major opportunity for British academia and UK plc to come together and meet the challenge of delivering what is a huge investment in the country’s future. The programme’s scale and longevity creates the right conditions to develop solutions for High Speed 2 and also the wider rail industry – both of which are crucial in helping Britain to decarbonise.”

Project 1: Expansion Joints

The first project to get under way as part of the agreement will use simulation models to improve understanding of how expansion joints used on high-speed rails perform. This project will be led by the University of Birmingham.

Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), said:

“BCRRE works very closely with our industry partners to develop and deploy world-leading technologies onto the railway. High speed rail is a vital part of the future of rail innovation in the UK and we’re delighted to be joining forces with HS2 to play our part in that future.”

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