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-Railended 2013: Development of the future rail freight system to reduce the occurrences and impact of derailment.
  • SustRailApril 2012 to April 2015: sustainable freight railway: designing the freight vehicle – track system for higher delivered tonnage with improved availability at reduced cost.
  • SpectrumApril 2012 to April 2015: freight logistic project: integration of low density, high value, time sensitive freight services with existing passenger services.
  • Capacity4RailOct 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

EPSRC projects:

  • 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