UK Government Announces £5.3 Million in FOAK Grants

The UK government is investing 5.3 million GBP in making railways more modern, efficient and accessible.

This funding is part of the 2023 First of a Kind (FOAK) competition and is split between 17 projects.

Six of these projects specifically focus on enhancing accessibility. This includes the use of AI technology to provide live staff announcements across displays to ensure passengers hard of hearing do not miss key updates.

In addition, other accessibility projects include:

  • QR codes around stations that are updated with important information on platform changes and service alterations, while also acting as a database for accessible information
  • An online journey planner with up-to-date information on key facilities, such as where accessible toilets are in stations and trains and whether they’re open and in use
  • Installing kiosk button systems on platforms in rural areas where passengers currently have to physically flag down trains

Other winning projects in this round of funding include:

  • A sensor to detect leaves on the line
  • DreamSuite, a new design for UK sleeper services
  • New technology that allows train timetables to rapidly update during extreme weather events to keep people up to date

The funding will support these projects through their development phases, which will involve real trials on the railways.

Rail Minister, Huw Merriman, said:

“We’re spending more than £5 million on modernising train journeys, improving the experience for some of the most vulnerable passengers and using cutting-edge technology to do so.

“The projects announced today have the potential to make a huge difference to passengers, whether that’s being able to read important announcements or locate accessible facilities. I’m proud of the support we’ve been able to show through this competition to drive towards a more innovative, inclusive and better value-for-money rail network.”

The complete list of FOAK 2023 winners can be found here.

Get your news featured on Railway-News

Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.

    We'd love to send you the latest news and information from the world of Railway-News. Please tick the box if you agree to receive them.

    For your peace of mind here is a link to our Privacy Policy.

    By submitting this form, you consent to allow Railway-News to store and process this information.

    Follow Railway-News on LinkedIn
    Follow Railway-News on Twitter