The IRR is setup with three core teams handling a broad range of projects from long term fundamental research to short term industry problem-solving studies and applied industrial R&D.
EU Framework 7 projects:
The IRR research team is currently involved in several EU Framework 7 projects:
- DynoTRAIN: (part of TrioTRAIN) – ended 2013: promote interoperable rail traffic in Europe by reducing costs of certification and closing “open points” in the TSI’s.
- D-Rail: ended 2013: Development of the future rail freight system to reduce the occurrences and impact of derailment.
- SustRail: April 2012 to April 2015: sustainable freight railway: designing the freight vehicle – track system for higher delivered tonnage with improved availability at reduced cost.
- Spectrum: April 2012 to April 2015: freight logistic project: integration of low density, high value, time sensitive freight services with existing passenger services.
- Capacity4Rail: Oct 2013 to Oct 2016: Increasing the capacity for rail networks through enhanced infrastructure and optimised operations.
New Horizon 2020 projects:
- In2Rail – starting May 2015: radical redesign of switches and crossings system and the development of innovative plain line track solutions.
- WRIST – Starting early 2015: Innovative Welding Processes for New Rail Infrastructures
- Track to the Future (Programme Grant) – starting June 2015
- Material Composition – starting June 2015: Designing Steel Composition & Microstructure to better Resist Degradation during Wheel-Rail Contact
Centre for Innovation in Rail (CIR)
The Centre for Innovation in Rail has been setup to support innovation in the railway industry.
Example of applied R&D solutions:
- New concept vehicle design study for a large UK Metro system, employing novel mechatronics solutions to reduce wheel-rail damage
- Development of a new methodology for freight vehicle access charging based on vertical track damage predictions. (Network Rail and the ORR)
- Development of light rail wheel and rail profiles to reduce derailment risk and optimise asset life (ORR)
- Vehicle and Track geometry optimisation for the Crossrail system to reduce wheel wear and propensity for rolling contact fatigue (Network Rail)
Other example projects include:
- Wheel defect detection using magnetic flux leakage (Future Railway)
- Vehicle based rail defect detection using existing on-board sensors (Future Railway)
- Novel freight bogie design (TSB)
- Development of wheel motor technology (TSB)
- Developing new applications for SCT Smart washer (Future Railway)
- Low-cost, self-health monitoring railway damper (PhD)
- MEMS-based automated track inspection (UKTram)
RSSB Strategic Partnership
The strategic Partnership with RSSB has recently been setup to bring together inter-disciplinary research in the areas of engineering system modelling and railway safety and risk modelling. It aims to deliver:
- Improved Railway engineering science
- Evidence based standard changes
- Cross industry research
- Enhanced industry risk models
- Better tracking of emerging trends
- Improved railway safety
Example projects include:
- Red aspect approach to signals
- Integrating engineering and safety risk models
- Economic tyre turning
- Learning from close call data
- Development of a train system braking model