Rail News, November 2017

Leeds University is investing £10m in a new Institute for High Speed Rail that will focus on the design, manufacture and integration of high speed rail infrastructure.


Featuring a vehicle system test facility, the institute will be located close to the HS2 rolling stock depot to the east of Leeds, and will provide both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Areas of research will include foundations and track, traction systems, braking and energy harvesting, sensor technology and digital systems.


Working alongside the National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster, the Institute for High Speed Rail will aim to address the skills gap and provide the human resources that the sector is expected to demand.


‘’HS2 is delighted that the University of Leeds is launching the UK’s first Institute dedicated to high speed rail and system Integration,” said lain Roche, head of Innovation for HS2. The creation of world-leading facilities so close to the HS2 depot to the east of Leeds will accelerate the vehicle and systems integration testing process, and advance the UK’s vision of creating a high speed railway that will support regional growth, create jobs and rebalance the economy.”








The new West Midlands rail service has announced plans for a £680m investment in new trains – with the carriages being manufactured in the Midlands.


Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co were awarded the new franchise in August and will begin operations in December. The partnership had pledged fresh investment as part of its bid to the Department for Transport and it is now delivering on that promise.


It has selected Bombardier Trains and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) to manufacture 107 new trains for the new franchise. These trains will be made up of 413 carriages and cost £680m; part of the near £1bn investment into the franchise that Abellio, JR East and Mitsui will be overseeing in the coming years.


Bombardier will produce 333 electric carriages made up of 90mph 36 x 3 car trains for metro services and 110mph 145 x 5 car trains for outer suburban and long distance configurations. They will be built at Bombardier’s facility in Derby, helping to secure manufacturing jobs for the region.


CAF will produce 80 diesel carriages made up of 12 x 2 car trains and 14 x 4 car trains which will provide dedicated services for journeys to the towns and cities around Birmingham.