International High Speed Rail

Around the globe, railways are seeing a renaissance. Their superior environmental performance and ability to transport large numbers of people and goods, safely and efficiently, has led to second and third generations of investment. Since its introduction in Japan in the 1960s, High Speed Rail has now become a worldwide phenomenon and investments are being developed to connect many of the world’s largest and growing cities. However, these nations’ decision makers face a complex array of choices in terms of technologies and operating systems and wrestle with adapting elements of established technologies to their local needs. This creates a rich potential for world leading research to contribute to the knowledge of high speed rail and to influence the decision makers of the future. 

Questions that BRIDGE Fellows could explore

We have invited researchers to develop projects that explore the technical and regulatory issues around large capital rail investment decisions. What are the key technical and operational choices facing decision-makers and what are the implications of each? How to apply a technical system that has been approved in one administration in another that has a different set of laws and regulations? How to navigate complex and challenging political environments? What’s the opportunity for private sector schemes to take the initiative and how to confront geographical challenges? These are some of the areas where the Bridge Fellow could lead and conduct research.

Unique benefits of the BRIDGE Fellowship programme

  • The BRIDGE Fellow will work in two of the world’s leading centres for research into railways; Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham and the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education is a multi-disciplinary centre spanning the Schools of Civil engineering, Electrical, electronic and computer engineering and Materials and Metallurgy. It has over 130 academics, researchers and professional support staff, who deliver world-class research and thought leadership within railways. Our close relationships with the rail industry mean that our research and teaching draws in real-world situations
  • For over a century the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been a leader in rail transportation engineering education and research. The Rail Transportation and Engineering (RailTEC) at UIUC is developing new theoretical insights that inform practical, effective solutions in railway infrastructure, rolling stock, operations, planning and policy. 
  • Building upon the University’s strong links to industry, the international engineering consultancy, Atkins, will be sponsoring the Fellowship in Railways that will provide an opportunity to complement and enhance the research.