Rail Research and Innovation Centre

Our Rail Research and Innovation Centre supports collaborative research and innovation projects with rail supply chains. The objective is to drive up productivity, sustainability and growth. We do this by stimulating the adoption of new technologies and techniques within the rail industry, providing a local support infrastructure and enhancing investment.

What we do

The centre encourages innovation and collaboration between the knowledge base and rail supply businesses within the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire rail supply chains. With Derby now named as the national headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR HQ), we are able to strengthen our collaboration within the sector and look to have significant involvement in future projects.

Our expertise means we can contribute to the development of capabilities, skills and applied research needed to secure national and international opportunities. With access to Europe’s largest rail hub right on the doorstep and the GBR HQ within our city, we offer our students fantastic opportunities to develop their career in the sector. 

We provide access to three technology demonstrator areas:

Our support programmes help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access facilities, develop or improve skills and complete collaborative research and innovation projects. We are based at Lonsdale House in Derby.

A modern train travelling at speed

Advanced rail composite design and manufacture

We provide access to research and innovation equipment and capabilities. This includes:

You can also access strategic facilities in the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE). These include design, digitisation, advanced manufacturing (5-axis simultaneous machining, metal based additive manufacturing and multi-material 3D printing), CAE licensing arrangements for research and development and others.

A close-up of a composite material

Rail data analytics and artificial intelligence

The rail data analytics and artificial intelligence area provides:

Strategic facilities and expertise available in the IISE and the College of Science and Engineering include asset management and digital twin (virtual simulation) applications.

a computer server

Advanced rail solutions to De-carbonise rail

The advanced rail solutions area provides software and hardware for simulation, data acquisition and control. We also have a laboratory-scale test bed for testing and hardware-in-the-loop.

The IISE and the College of Engineering and Technology provide additional expertise in materials, advanced manufacturing and systems to help develop projects for low carbon, energy efficient propulsion, regenerative braking and hybrid solutions.

Equipment and concepts can be demonstrated and the test bed provides a practical platform for skills development.

rail simulation software

How we benefit your business

We can provide your business with the facilities and expertise to support growth and innovation in your sector. Benefits include:

For more information about the RRIC, or to get involved, email businesshub@derby.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 800 001 5500.

Railway track

Sustainable fuels for rail freight

The ground-breaking HyDEX project is responding to calls from the rail freight industry to accelerate the transition to net zero.

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The front view of a commercial train

Innovate 4 Rail

The Innovate 4 Rail project has been created to stimulate and support innovation and drive productivity among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Rail Sector Supply Chains.

Find out more about Innovate 4 RailFind out more about Innovate 4 Rail
a representation of a decarbonised city sitting within a green leaf

DE-Carbonise Project

DE-Carbonise offers a comprehensive programme of assistance for SMEs seeking to reduce their carbon emissions in operations, production and supply chain.

Find out more about DE-Carbonise Project Find out more about DE-Carbonise Project