Research investment needed in railways says House of Commons Transport Committee

The University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education has welcomed the publication of a major report into UK rail investment, to which it contributed to as a specialist advisor.

The report, Rail infrastructure investment, has been published by the House of Commons Transport Committee and sets out actions to rebuild confidence in Department for Transport and Network Rail in the next Control Period.

The report highlights funding gaps between London and regions in need of economic regeneration and says that the Government must do more to promote deployment of new technologies. In particular, it recommends previously cancelled electrification schemes outside of London to be placed in the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) for further development and design work with a particular focus on reducing the costs.

Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education said: ‘The report makes clear that there is still investment needed in the UK rail industry. Improving research and development in areas such as hydrogen fuel cells and electrification would be hugely beneficial for passengers and the environment. It would also strengthen the sector in terms of SME input and producing quality exports.’

The Committee also recommends:

  • A mechanism to smooth out the renewals spending profile;
  • Full transparency of projects in the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline;
  • Greater clarity about projects available for third party investment; and
  • Streamlining of processes for market-led proposals.

The full report can be found on the Parliament UK website.

ENDS

For more information or interviews, please contact Dominic Benson, Deputy Director of Communications, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 5134 or +44 (0) 7976327067.

Notes for Editors:

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • BCRRE is the largest university-based centre for railway research and education in Europe, with more than 145 researchers and staff developing world-leading new technologies and products for trains, railway systems and infrastructure that will deliver a better, more reliable and efficient railway to the UK. It also currently educate over 500 students a year though our Undergraduate, Masters, PhD and CPD programmes.

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) takes a system-wide view, researching in all aspects of railway technology. It has significant reputation in areas such as Traffic Management and Operations simulation, Power and Energy Systems, Data Integration and Cybersecurity, Climate Change and Extreme Weather, Condition Monitoring, Sensing, Geotechnical Engineering, Asset Management and Railway Aerodynamics.