Funding agreed for ‘cutting-edge’ rail research centre in Leeds

The government will help fund one of the most advanced high-speed rail research facilities in the world, the University of Leeds has announced.

The University’s Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration (IHSRSI) aims to revolutionise the way new railway systems are invented, developed and brought into service.

It will be located next to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone and signals the beginning phase of an ambitious plan which hopes to create new jobs and attract investment.

The plan involves local authorities and businesses with the ambition to make the city region a UK centre for rail engineering.

At the heart of the Leeds’ Institute will be the capability to investigate rail systems, measuring how train, track, power systems and signals interact as a unified system.

Professor Peter Woodward, head of the IHSRSI, said: “The Institute will revolutionise the testing, commissioning and building of new trains, rail infrastructure and systems, both in the UK and overseas.

“The test facilities will place the Leeds City Region as a global leader in high speed railway technology development, significantly enhancing the UK’s ability to develop, test and certify new railway technologies for the commercial export market.

“The capabilities of the test facilities are of global significance and I’m very grateful for the significant support we have received from all the companies and organisations that have helped us over the last two years.

“It’s a great time to be in rail, and with the new capability that the Institute represents, the UK’s railway future is looking very bright both for industry and for passengers.”

The Government has contributed £11m towards the capital costs of the project, and a further £53m has come from the University, rail industry partners and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.

(Picture: Atkins Artist’s Impression)