Director of the Institute of Railway Research Simon Iwnicki gives a brief introduction to the IRR followed by a tour of the main test rigs in the Institute
Testing facilities at the IRR
The IRR provides specialist research in the fields of railway engineering and railway safety. Its core capabilities lie in the science and engineering practice of providing and maintaining a safe and economically optimised interface between vehicles and track. Computer simulation tools are developed and used and supported by practical tests in the IRR laboratories or on track. This expertise has been used to improve the design, operation and maintenance of railway vehicles and infrastructure in partnership with railway industry stakeholders and academic collaborators.
In 2015 the IRR commissioned its custom-designed adhesion and rolling contact laboratory dynamics rig ‘HAROLD’. It is the only full-size roller rig in the UK and the only one with its particular capabilities in Europe. It allows railway vehicles to be tested in the laboratory at speeds of up to 225kph, therefore providing an important National capability for the dynamic characterisation of bogies and for evaluating novel and innovative designs.
At the start of 2019, the Centre of Excellence in Rolling Stock (CERS) was officially launched at the IRR. It will share in the £90 million of funding, distributed among three Centres of Excellence, that has been procured from the Government and from the private industry by the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN). As part of the investment in IRR to set up the Centre of Excellence 2 major new research facilities have been constructed: