At the RIA Innovation Conference, Neil Tinworth, Director Research and Innovation, presented on developing a programme of low cost railway solutions on rural railways.
Key to delivering such a strategy is the need for strategic research into the social role of railways and stations in rural environment, as well as whole life modelling tools/decision support tools that enable different modes of transport/technology to be economically evaluated, and these are elements that Unipart Rail is currently leading.
Additionally, Neil's presentation covered five demonstrator projects:
Lightweight rolling stock
Low cost track and train coaches
Low cost sustainable stations (erected in twenty four hours, zero net energy, self-sufficient and recyclable)
Intelligent supply chains, just-in-time delivery based on predictive maintenance technologies
Development of more radical operating concepts, self-guided vehicles and alternate technologies
Taken together, these initiatives could deliver a radically improved, cost-reducing model that ensure connectivity of the rural economy, as well as drawing in technology from other sectors to enable the design and build of lighter, cheaper, more efficient rail vehicles.
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