University of Birmingham

Advancing the UK rail industry

The University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education is playing a leading role in solving complex problems that make a real difference to the operation of the UK’s railways.

The UK rail industry is undergoing a period of major transition and new investment. The University’s Centre for Railway Research and Education is enabling the rail industry to deliver better services by focusing its work on improving capacity, reducing energy consumption, and facilitating cost reductions.

The Centre has developed an ‘intelligent’ monitoring system which uses algorithms to monitor the condition of the lines. Its research has developed solutions related to aerodynamics, maintenance of rail lines and energy and traction systems. It has also secured £92 million to establish the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network which brings together eight universities with 17 industry partners to accelerate research, development and the introduction of new technology.

The advanced engineering and innovative technologies developed by the Centre are making a difference to the UK’s rail network. The work has resulted in a reduction in delays, improved efficiencies through changes to standards, energy savings and new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the industry. The Centre is developing the innovations required to support the vital role of rail transport in the national economy.