Rail research centre on track to boost economy

Posted on 17 Feb 2020 and read 535 times
Rail research centre on track to boost economyA new rail research centre under construction at the University of Leeds has the potential to contribute billions of pounds to the UK economy, according to independent Leeds-based economic impact consultants Genecon.

Drawing on data from the transport regulator (the Office for Road and Rail), Genecon estimates that “just a 1% improvement in UK rail operations could generate around £3 billion in value to the UK economy by 2050”.

The Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration (www.leeds.ac.uk) will be one of the most advanced experimental research centres in the world, with capabilities to test rail systems that operate at both conventional and high speeds.

It will be sited next to the Leeds Enterprise Zone at Gateway 45 and will be the the first in the world to investigate rail systems as an integrated whole — measuring how train, track, power systems and signals interact as a unified system.

David Tuck, Genecon’s managing director (www.genecon.co.uk), said: “The institute has the potential to deliver real benefits for Yorkshire, the Northern Powerhouse and the wider UK.

"It symbolises the region’s increasing role as an international centre for advanced research and its contribution to national economic growth and productivity.

"By improving rail network efficiency, the new institute has a critical role to play in accelerating UK productivity growth, as well as acting as a catalyst to rail industry and related investment in and around the Leeds Enterprise Zone.

“The institute is also helping to deliver the UK’s Industrial Strategy by facilitating collaboration between top-flight researchers and growing companies, supporting innovation across the rail sector and ensuring that the country’s key infrastructure and services are fit for the future.”

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