UK Rail Minister, Wendy Morton, has officially launched this year’s First of a Kind competition designed to attract innovative technology to the rail sector. The Government has put £7.6 million up for grabs aimed at encouraging new ideas in the fields of improving the passenger experience and decarbonisation.
The competition, which will run from 20th April to the 8th of June, is hoping to attract bids from organisations of all sizes, which are working on projects aimed at creating a greener, more cost-effective and passenger focused railway.
Last year 33 projects received funding. These included:
A Loyalty Platform to reward regular journeys – including the off-train section of the commute, as well as technology that could improve last mile travel by presenting passengers with information on changes in real-time.
A system to monitor people flow, congestion points and behaviour at stations, so operators can remove bottlenecks and deploy countermeasures, helping people avoid crowds and restoring passenger confidence in the rail system post COVID-19.
A scheme that provides an interchangeable interior train carriage for quick, deep cleaning and allows operators to rejig a train’s seating layout at short notice – reacting to demand, keeping passengers safe and freeing up space.
A project that uses electromagnetism to deliver safe and predictable braking in harsh conditions, while improving acceleration.
This year, the competition, which is run in partnership with Innovate UK, will focus on technologies that improve the industry’s cost efficiency and network performance to support a more reliable railway for passengers and improving rail freight.
Over the years the fund has helped trial and launch over 100 projects which are promoting greener railways, improving passengers’ rail experience and accessibility on the transport network, and helping the railway to be more cost-effective.
A full list of last year’s successful entrants can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/998300/Competition_Results_-_SBRI_Competition_Rail_Demonstrations_First_of_a_Kind_2021.pdf
New innovations in the rail industry using wireless connectivity will feature heavily in this year’s Traincomms Conference.
Please see the brand new www.Traincomms.com web-site, where you can also sign up for our Free WiFi on Trains News Service.
Or, to discuss exhibiting at the conference, please contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com