UKRRIN, for the first time, brings together world-class research activities within universities across the full landscape required to deliver systems-level technology innovation into the rail industry, and co-locate this with the key UK rail industry supply chain and support companies. The network will incorporate access to existing at-scale test facilities, including Network Rail’s Rail Innovation & Development Centres (RIDC Melton and RIDC Tuxford) and other key partners that will support the acceleration of adoption and transformational change in rail systems technology and new railway products and services.
Located at Melton Commercial Park, 3 miles from Melton Mowbray Station, RIDC Melton is a purpose-built test track for the testing of rolling stock, plant, on-track machines, infrastructure, technology and equipment. The facility has been designed to support high and low speed testing of vehicles and infrastructure using 25kV (11 miles) overhead line equipment and 3rd/4th rail DC equipment. RIDC Melton has two separate test tracks, high speed test facility between Melton Junction and Edwalton, incorporating 13 miles of track up to 125mph and a slow speed test track from Old Dalby to Stanton tunnel, having 4 miles of track capable of up to 60mph.
The centre has the capacity and capability to support new and modified technology demonstrators and trials, and now includes the recently added Telecom Innovation Lab.
Tuxford spurs off the Robin Hood line, between Thoresby Junction and High Marnham, it is 10 miles of single line test track with a 3 mile double section, with testing speed capabilities of up to 75mph. It comprises a short section of non-live 25kV type catenary and a short section of non-live 3rd/4th rail. It offers a perfectly suited facility to develop rail vehicles, technology, equipment, filming and to deliver operator training and competence assessments.
QRTC is the only privately owned and independent rail testing and trialling site in the UK. It has the only looped test track in the UK and is used extensively for reliability and mileage accumulation testing and trialling. It is able to operate 24/7 and its operational staff all have extensive trials and development experience in both the rail and other sectors including defence, automotive and manufacturing. It is also home to the UK’s only specifically built light rail test facility and is partner to UK Tram/Innovate UK in this respect.
London Underground is the oldest Metro system in the world. With so many years of experience behind it, ‘the Tube’ has become a world standard for city metro systems and continues to remain at the forefront of innovation. Its parent organisation, TfL, is vertically integrated, which means that we have the full-stack experience of operating, maintaining and renewing all our asset types. Modern technologies are constantly being researched and adapted to the needs of the network to increase reliability and efficiency, whilst keeping costs at a minimum. This Test Centre provides an excellent opportunity to accelerate the development of the rail industry within one of the world’s most challenging yet iconic rail environments.
Network Rail owns and operates RIDC Melton and RIDC Tuxford; the RIDC team are part of the Safety, Technical and Engineering directorate within Network Rail. These two strategically important test facilities provide a safe operational environment for the testing, trialling and validation of new and modified rolling stock, plant, on-track machines, infrastructure, equipment and technology.
The RIDC team prides itself on working collaboratively with all current and prospective customers to deliver their testing requirements. The RIDCs are truly representative of the operational railway and include many characteristics found on the national network.
Get in touch with RIDC to find out how to access these facilities