Learn more about the Smart Rolling Stock Maintenance Research Facility, from Professor Gareth Tucker 

The Smart Rolling Stock Maintenance Research Facility (SRSMRF)

The ERDF Leeds City Region, Smart Rolling Stock Maintenance Research Facility (SRSMRF) is part of the Institute of Railway Research (IRR).  The SRSMRF builds on the IRR’s expertise in Railway Rolling Stock Engineering and complements the facilities and work programme of the UKRRIN Centre of Excellence in Rolling Stock.

The aim of the SRSMRF is to carry out fundamental research and industry-focused research and development with the objectives to:

  • Improve train reliability
  • Reduce maintenance time and cost
  • Increase fleet size/service provision 
    without expanding maintenance facilities
  • Reduce train downtime due to maintenance
  • Reduce the amount of unplanned/ corrective maintenance
  • Reduce the risk to train maintenance staff
  • Improve inspection reliability

The project to establish the SRSMRF is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  This project includes construction work for the Smart Rolling Stock Maintenance Research Office and the Rolling Stock Maintenance Robotics Lab, which form the facility, as well as equipment and staff time to develop this new research area including preparing case studies to demonstrate potential future areas of research.

The SRSRMF aims to be a focal point for industry and academia to collaborate for this core area of railway engineering.  The ERDF project to establish the facility is hopefully just the start of developing the facility into a centre of excellence in ‘Smart Rolling Stock Maintenance’.  

The main research topics of the SRSMRF are:

  1. Robotics and Automation for rolling stock maintenance, servicing and overhaul
  2. Remote Condition Monitoring and Prognostics 
  3. Depot operations planning optimisation 
  4. Use of augmented reality to assist maintenance operations

The work of the facility is guided by an Industrial Steering Group, with members from:

  • Rail Partners
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Siemens
  • Network Rail
  • Atkins
  • Porterbrook
  • Northern Railway
  • UniPart Rail
  • DB Cargo

Project Team

Principal Investigator: Prof Gareth Tucker
Co-Investigators: Prof Adam Bevan, Prof Paul Allen, Prof Lee McCluskey 
SME and Industry Engagement Manager: Richard Carr
Researchers: Dr Hamidreza Faham, Dr Pritesh Mistry, Dr Hassna Louadah