Leeds to get ‘revolutionary’ high speed rail testing facility

One of the most advanced high-speed rail research facilities in the world will be built in Leeds.

It’s hoped the Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration will ‘revolutionise’ the way new railway systems are invented, developed and brought into service.

The facility will have a ‘rolling road’ test track which will be capable of testing performance up to 400 km/hr. This will be supported by a second test facility that will simulate support structures for tracks, such as embankments, and how they respond to high-speed trains so that ground dynamics can be more accurately simulated.

It will be able to combine train, track, power systems and signals into an integrated system, to better understand how changes to one part of that system interact with another part.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at the University of Leeds, said: ‘The real power of the Institute is that it has been designed with the rail industry, to help it address some of its big research questions.

‘Working together with industry we will play a big role in future rail innovation.

‘If you look at the government’s Industrial Strategy, never before has it been so important for universities to work with business and industry and the UKRPIF scheme is truly catalysing those collaborations.’

The Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration (IHSRSI) will be sited on the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone at Gateway 45, near junction 45 of the M1 motorway. It’s hoped the facility will be fully operational in 2021.

The government has contributed £11m towards the capital costs of the project. A further £40m has come from the University and rail industry partners, adding to £13m from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.

The University of Leeds has produced a video about the facility which you can watch below.


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