The UK’s Network Rail has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dutch company Strukton Rail for the British company’s £245m research and development (R&D) project.
The agreement falls under Network Rail’s Control Period 6. Both companies will work to improve asset management, intelligent infrastructure and advanced data analytics.
They expect this to boost the reliability of passenger and freight journeys with cost-effective and safer maintenance.
Extreme weather conditions are an important concern for railways. Network Rail plans to use technology to produce an improved, safer railway service under these circumstances.
Over a period of five years, the two railway companies will co-develop and transfer technologies into new operating environments.
This MoU is part of the company’s plans to accelerate innovation by making it easy for different partners to work with the company.
Network Rail R&D Portfolio senior programme manager Ali Smith said: “We have set an ambitious programme for research and development over the next five years and are determined to use this portfolio to find new and innovative ways to deliver a better railway for passengers and freight users.
“Our success relies on working with many organisations, particularly where all parties are contributing to joint development.”
Last month, Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult planned to collaborate with an Innovate UK-backed consortium to provide Network Rail with a predict-and-prevent maintenance system to boost safety and security in the UK.
In October, Network Rail partnered with Connected Places Catapult (CPC) to develop technologies to improve the rail network.