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High speed rail leaders woo Tories

hs2 train

High speed rail leaders will push the case for HS2 to Conservative politicians today as they launch a progress report at the party’s conference.

High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL), which is made up of companies working in the high speed rail sector, said as construction started on HS2, it wanted to highlight the work being carried out by the companies involved in the project.

It described the HS2 project as “transformational” and said its members were “committed to leading the way in bringing efficient gains across the industry”.

In the report HS2 On Track, it said the skills gap was being addressed by the opening of five new high speed rail colleges, the largest of which will have two campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster. It said these would have state of the art facilities and a curriculum developed by industry specialists.

Birmingham University has also set up its own centre for railway research and education (BCRRE). BCRRE professor Felix Schmid said although high speed rail was similar in many ways to conventional railway it had some principle differences which meant additional research was necessary.

“High speed railways are between 50 and 150% faster than those of earlier types of railways, resulting in a kinetic energy level that is between 2.25 and 6.25 that of the ‘older’ systems,” he said.

“Research into adhesion and aerodynamics at high speeds is a priority for researchers. While operating, the rolling stock, infrastructure and control systems of modern railways require and produce continuous streams of data that must be processed, analysed and stored. Given that high speed trains move at up to 100 m/s, there are great challenges in communicating this data accurately and reliably between the various subsystems, with minimum latency.

“Sensor systems and actuators for high speed operations must be fast, accurate, reliable and repeatable.”

The report also highlighted the work done by companies such as Atkins and Siemens as part of the enabling works in the lead up to the main civils works contracts being signed earlier this year. The work by Altsom and Hitachi on the design and the procurement of the new HS2 rolling stock. And the work of designers and architects such as Weston Williamson and Bechtel in the innovative designs, use of technology in and for the layout of the stations.

HSRIL director Iain Anderson said: “We are delighted to launch HS2 on Track. It captures the work already underway on HS2 by HSRIL members, and the lessons being learnt and benefits being felt.

“HS2 will transform Britain. There is no question about that. But it must also transform the industry. It will enable us to invest in skills, develop ever more innovative solutions and improve our efficiency.

“The industry is wholly committed to making this happen, and this HSRIL report shows the work already underway.”

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