Leeds to host new £10m Institute for High Speed Rail

Leeds University is investing £10m in a new Institute for High Speed Rail that will focus on the design, manufacture and integration of high speed rail infrastructure.

Institute for High Speed Rail

Featuring a vehicle system test facility, the institute will be located close to the HS2 rolling stock depot to the east of Leeds, and will provide both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Areas of research will include foundations and track, traction systems, braking and energy harvesting, sensor technology and digital systems.

Working alongside the National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster, the Institute for High Speed Rail will aim to address the skills gap and provide the human resources that the sector is expected to demand.    

“HS2 is delighted that the University of Leeds is launching the UK’s first Institute dedicated to high speed rail and system integration,” said Iain Roche, head of Innovation for HS2.

“The creation of world-leading facilities so close to the HS2 depot to the east of Leeds will accelerate the vehicle and systems integration testing process, and advance the UK’s vision of creating a high speed railway that will support regional growth, create jobs and rebalance the economy.”

According to Leeds University, the new facility will combine the expertise of the Institute for Transport Studies, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, and the Schools of Mechanical, Civil, and Electronic and Electrical Engineering. The institute will also work alongside international partners such as China’s SouthWest Jiaotong University, with whom Leeds operates a joint school.

Institute for High Speed Rail

Professor Peter Woodward

“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 Prof Peter Woodward, the University’s new Chair in High Speed Rail Engineering.  

“A system integration approach is possible because of the highly multi-disciplinary teams at Leeds and, combined with state-of-the-art test facilities, this investment will place Leeds on the world-stage as the go-to place for high speed rail research.”