Britain’s historic railways are famous throughout the world and it is hoped that new research will help keep our country at the forefront of this type of travel.
The research in question, which has been done by the University of Sheffield, Furrer+Frey and Network Rail, aims to help the rail industry meet the cost and efficiency challenges of electrification.
This is essential research, as many see electrification as a way trains can be a part of a more environmentally aware future.
The Government’s plan to decrease the environmental impact of the railways as part of their Net Zero 2050 targets also makes electrification an essential part of the industry’s future.
Those who completed the research (all members of the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN)) hope that their work will improve current and future electrification schemes in this way.
Professor David Fletcher, head of the research group at Sheffield, discussed the positive impact of working as an academic alongside industry experts. He said: “The engagement with Furrer+Frey has been really great in funding and steering these research projects. Their expertise has ensured the research stayed focused on industry needs, ensuring impact from the academic input of our PhD students”.
This enthusiasm was echoed by Engineering Director at Furrer+Frey, Rob Daffern, who said: “I studied at The University of Sheffield, so to be working with cutting edge research back at Sheffield has been tremendous. The whole industry is focused on reducing costs and research is key.”
The research, which was partially funded by the European Union, focuses on improving the cost efficiency of electrification. This was done by researching the factors associated with the movement of an electric train, such as wind, train speed and gradient.
The research also looked into the overhead wires used with electric rail lines.