Moveable overhead Wellingborough Class 92

UK: The latest First of a Kind innovation funding competition has been launched, with government grants totalling £7·6m available to support the demonstration of innovative technologies in a representative railway environment.

This year’s themes are lower emissions and a greener railway, innovations in rail freight, and cost efficiencies and performance priorities for a more reliable railway.

Applications for the sixth round of FAOK funding can be submitted between April 20 and June 8. Last year’s competition saw 33 projects receive grants of up to £400 000 each.

Hydroflex Train

‘In partnership with Innovate UK, we have already invested £35·4m into over 100 groundbreaking projects’, said Rail Minister Wendy Morton when the call for proposals was launched on April 12. ‘We’ve seen cutting edge technologies such as HydroFLEX developed, the first ever trial of a hydrogen-powered train on the UK mainline, and software improving accessibility such as the Hearing Enhanced Audio Relay app.

‘As part of our Plan for Rail, it is key we continue breathing life into new ideas and supporting innovation and design to deliver greener rail journeys and transform rail travel for all passengers.’