View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
June 8, 2015

University of Nottingham developing low-maintenance track in UK

University of Nottingham in the UK is working on a five-year Track to the Future (T2F) research programme to develop low-noise rail track that requires minimal maintenance.

By Srivari Aishwarya

rail tracks

University of Nottingham in the UK is working on a five-year Track to the Future (T2F) research programme to develop low-noise rail track that requires minimal maintenance.

The £8.5m project will be carried out under a partnership between the universities of Nottingham, Southampton, Birmingham, and Huddersfield, as well as industry partners, including Network Rail.

T2F will help infrastructure operators and owners develop low-maintenance, low-noise tracks to support the continued increase in train frequencies, speeds and operating hours.

Railway infrastructure performance is being affected as the frequency and speed of trains increases and time available for maintenance work decreases.

Additionally, climate changes are imposing new pressures on old infrastructure, sometimes having major impacts on exposed coastal railways and earthworks.

"The potential financial savings are huge and, ultimately, the public will benefit from much improved track ride quality and a superior service."

The project will overcome such challenges by designing crossings and transitions that improve vehicle behaviour through them and reduce damage. It will also develop long-life track systems with optimised materials.

T2F will employ experimental and analytical techniques, as well as integrate advanced behavioural models in the areas of geomechanics, track systems, vehicle dynamics, noise and vibration.

University of Nottingham Department of Civil Engineering head professor Glenn McDowell said: "We have a real opportunity to use advanced numerical modelling and experimental techniques to devise novel interventions that will lead to ballasted track requiring little or no maintenance.

"The potential financial savings are huge and, ultimately, the public will benefit from much improved track ride quality and a superior service."

The T2F project will initially receive £5.2m of funding through a programme grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, with the remaining amount coming from industry support and partner universities.


Image: Low-maintenance, low-noise railway tracks. Photo: courtesy of The University of Nottingham.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The railway industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Railway Technology