The UK Government has confirmed funding for the University of Leeds to establish the Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration (IHSRSI), an advanced conventional and high-speed rail research institute.
It will be located adjacent to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone at Gateway 45, near Junction 45 on the M1 motorway.
The institute will have the capability to measure how trains, track, power systems and signals interact as a unified system.
In total, the government is contributing £11m for the project, while university and rail industry partners will invest £40m. Additionally, £13m will be provided by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.
The government’s contribution has been allocated from the UK Research Partnership and Investment Fund (UKRPIF), which is administered by Research England.
Under the UKRPIF, every £1 invested by the government will be matched by non-public sources such as businesses or charities.
The institute will comprise three test facilities; vehicle testing, infrastructure testing, and System Integration and Innovation Centre.
Its vehicle testing facility will have variable track geometry that can be programmed to replicate any rail journey and test performance up to 400km/h. It will facilitate research into traction systems, braking, new materials and ways to increase energy efficiency.
The infrastructure testing facility will simulate the forces on track, ballast and support structures for conventional and high-speed trains up to 400km/h. It will be built in an open field to allow accurate simulation of ground dynamics.
System Integration and Innovation Centre will provide the capability to investigate trains, track, power systems and signals as an integrated system. The institute is also expected to spur investment in new transport technology companies and the wider rail industry.
The £13m contribution from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal is part of a £1bn package of government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to enable growth and job creation in Leeds.