The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education has established a Chair in international railway benchmarking, to provide an objective and authoritative source of data that compares the performance and characteristics of railways the world over.  Our objective is to generate a body of international comparison data and to maintain relevant databases in a manner that will make them essential reference material for railway companies (including manufacturers and those who are considering buying rolling stock for instance) regulators the public and other academics. The production and publication of objective data relating to comparative performance and characteristics or different railway products and services enables countries and railway companies to make better informed strategic and purchasing decisions and designers and builders of rolling stock and infrastructure to match their products with market requirements, in the key areas of railway capacity and performance.

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education has a number of researchers working on benchmarking and our work is currently focussing on safety performance measures, the sustainability aspects of high speed rail and the 24 hour operation of metro systems.