Network Rail signs R&D framework contracts

University of Southampton national infrastructure lab

Network Rail signed contracts with eight universities to boost rail research and development. The framework contracts envisage a minimum GBP 10 million (EUR 11.3 million) investment for universities to help deliver Network Rail’s R&D portfolio and allow universities to maintain core teams and nurture talent.
Universities of Southampton, Birmingham, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Heriot Watt and Loughborough are the eight institutions which will help the Network Rail to deliver its R&D portfolio through the next five years of CP6.
“Universities are a critical source of innovation for the rail infrastructure of the future, and a stronger relationship allows us to come up with faster, better solutions than we could ever do without their support,” chief executive Andrew Haines said.
On 27 September, Network Rail has opened the cutting-edge National Infrastructure Laboratory at the University of Southampton. The laboratory provides major new facilities, including a large structures testing lab that can test how rail tracks cope with hundreds of thousands of trains, measured in just a few days; and a geotechnical centrifuge that compresses timescales by increasing gravity, and means whole-life service of components can be simulated in a matter of hours.

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