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Research to help Britain’s railways run smoothly

Research to help Britain’s railways run smoothly

Jack Anson of RSSB, Theresa Villiers and Professor Simon Iwnicki at the Westminster launch

RESEARCH by the School of Engineering will be used to improve the nation’s railways thanks to a new partnership between key UK universities and the rail industry.

The Rail Research Association (RRUK-A), which was welcomed by Minister for Transport Theresa Villiers at its launch last week in Westminster, aims to use university research to make our railways safer and more efficient.

Building on MMU’s successful working relationship with the railway industry, Simon Iwnicki, Professor of Railway Engineering will be academic co-chair: “RRUK-A will give us the opportunity to further develop our ideas and ensure that they feed into industry. This will help us to improve the safety and efficiency of Britain’s railways.

“There have been similar projects in the past but this one is different as it is funded by industry which will make it easier for ideas to filter through from universities and provide solutions to real world problems."

“As well as working this way, the partnership with industry will also help universities get a clearer idea of what research and development is needed to support the nation’s railways and therefore make it easier to get funding to carry out this research.”

Problem solving

MMU’S Rail Technology Unit has a successful history of joint projects with industry and other universities. Recent collaborations include the development of a new wheel profile to reduce rolling contact fatigue, modelling high speed freight vehicles, development of a virtual test track, and simulation of the behaviour of railway vehicles on different designs of switch.

Over 20 UK universities have joined MMU in RRUK-A which is funded by RSSB (the Rail Safety and Standards Board) and Network Rail.

The first RRUK-A event, called 24/7, and will look at the difficulties of running a 24 hour railway network, which the rail industry has asked for help with. The event which will take place on the 13th of December will examine issues such as overnight closure of tracks for maintenance and moving freight transport away from daytime to increase passenger train capacity.

Over 60 research proposals were submitted for the event, and of the 25 which were selected two of those are from MMU.

Also in this week’s issue of ManMetLife:

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