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Nathan Jardine writes leaders for The Information Daily and Council News Monitor. After a lifetime in Fleet Street he now divides his time between homes in France and the north-west of England. He enjoys drinking, eating, sleeping and poking fun. His autobiography A Dog's Life is unaccountably out of print.

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£10m investment for HS2 facility

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Image:
© Mark Stevenson, Leeds University, September 2017

The University of Leeds is investing £10m to develop the UK’s first dedicated centre for high speed rail technologies and system integration.

When built, The Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration will include a high speed railway infrastructure and vehicle system test facility. From foundations and track, traction systems, to braking, energy harvesting, sensor technology and digital systems, the Institute aims to optimise the efficiency, performance and safety of high speed rail.

Offering a ‘complete system’ approach to high speed rail engineering, it will give the UK an unrivalled centre of excellence for high speed rail planning, design, construction and manufacturing.

Working with other institutions in the north, it will also help address the skills gap to support rail industry growth, with undergraduate and postgraduate courses to support industry demands.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “The impact High Speed Rail will have on our City Region is truly transformational. As a region we aren’t stopping at the transport benefits either but focusing on the wider opportunities which it brings, including in the area of skills and investment."

The Leeds City Region is integrating high speed rail in its plans for economic growth, as well as the development of the South Bank and the Leeds Station complex.

Together with the High Speed Rail College in Doncaster, the Network Rail Campus in York and the manufacturing capabilities of the Leeds City Region, there is an unprecedented economic opportunity for advanced manufacturing, engineering and education in the region and the north, complementing the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

Leading the Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration is Professor Peter Woodward, the University’s new Chair in High Speed Rail Engineering.

“We will be drawing on the full range of Leeds’ significant research strengths to offer unrivalled support for a high speed rail network in the UK", said Professor Woodward.

The UK is investing £12 billion per year in rail infrastructure, with new UK projects in the pipeline worth a total of £88 billion. High speed rail investment is predicted to be over £380 billion by 2022.

 

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