HS2 impression of line with Small Dean viaduct and Wendover Green South Tunnel portal

UK: High Speed 2 project promoter HS2 Ltd has signed what it terms a ‘ground-breaking agreement’ with the UK Rail Research & Innovation Network of universities and research institutions.

The agreement with UKRRIN Ltd which was announced on August 14 is intended to enable HS2 Ltd to ‘accelerate new technologies and products from research into market applications globally’.

The University of Birmingham will coordinate UKRRIN’s activities in support of HS2 Ltd. The agreement will see research undertaken at three core academic centres of excellence, with each one leading a specific discipline:

  • digital systems (led by the University of Birmingham);
  • infrastructure (University of Southampton);
  • rolling stock (University of Huddersfield).

The first work package covered by the agreement will be led by the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research & Education, and will focus on use of simulation models to improve understanding of the performance of expansion joints used in high speed track.

‘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’, said HS2 Ltd Head of Innovation Howard Mitchell. ‘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.’

‘BCRRE works very closely with our industry partners to develop and deploy world-leading technologies onto the railway’, added Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research & Education.

‘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.’