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HS2 signs R&D agreement with the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network

27 August 2020
HS2 says it wants to decarbonise transport via projects such as the eco-friendly Solihull Interchange
HS2 says it wants to decarbonise transport via projects such as the eco-friendly Solihull Interchange


High speed rail project HS2 Ltd has signed an agreement with railway research centres in UK universities.

The agreement with the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) is designed to help accelerate new technologies and products from research into market applications globally.

The University of Birmingham will coordinate UKRRIN activities in support of HS2 Ltd under the agreement, and support R&D from across the three UKRRIN academic centres of excellence, including:

  • Digital Systems (led by the University of Birmingham)
  • Infrastructure (led by the University of Southampton)
  • Rolling Stock (led by the University of Huddersfield)

Signing the agreement with UKRRIN on behalf of HS2 Ltd, the project’s Head of Innovation, Howard Mitchell said: “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.”

The first project under the new agreement will be led by the University of Birmingham and will use simulation models to improve understanding of the performance of expansion joints used on high-speed rails.

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.”

Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: “By supporting HS2’s research programme we can help accelerate advances that will improve the UK’s railways through increasing capacity and decreasing the system’s carbon footprint. Through initiatives like this we can put the UK at the forefront of rail innovation and play our part in restoring the UK’s economy.”

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