The future of the world’s railways could be forged in Birmingham after plans were unveiled for a new research centre in the city.
The University of Birmingham will develop a digital systems centre as part of £92million research project involving universities and rail businesses across the UK.
The city site will focus on ways track conditions can be monitored and use simulations to see how technology could be introduced in future.
Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham, said: “These are exciting times for railways, which have become integral to how people live and economies grow in the 21st Century.
“This project gives British universities and rail industry partners the opportunity to shape the global future of railways.
“We’re looking forward to working with research and industry partners across the world to deliver innovation that establishes the UK as a world-leading centre of rail excellence.”
The UK Railway Research and Innovation Network has received £28.1m of funding for the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund. There will also be £64million worth of support from businesses including Alstom, Siemens and Bombadier Transportation.
Graham Hopkins, group safety, technical and engineering director at Network Rail, said: “By working together researchers and industry partners can deliver technical transformations to help deliver a more cost effective, customer and carbon friendly railway that delivers more capacity safely.
“The development of centres of excellence will help the rail industry to accelerate the uptake of technology and innovation.”