Avanti West Coast joins the network that aims to innovate the rail industry

Avanti West Coast is now part of the UK Rail Research Innovation Network (UKRRIN) an initiative designed to create collaboration between academia and the rail industry.

Avanti West Coast is the first train operator to join UKRRIN, which is a network of world-leading experts and facilities aiming to revolutionize rail travel.

Led by the University of Birmingham Center for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), UKRRIN aims to provide a step-change in innovation in the sector. The network provides its members with access to the latest facilities and research from experts across the industry to support the development and adoption of new solutions and technologies.

Membership of UKRRIN will give Avanti West Coast access to specialists in digital systems, rolling stock, and infrastructure to identify opportunities to improve its customer experience and its daily operations. In the first collaboration project, BCRRE will analyze areas of Avanti’s business to propose priorities for the future, including its behind-the-scenes operations, customer experience, accessibility, and inclusivity.

Through its membership of UKRRIN, the company will also gain access to the skills, knowledge, and expertise of the University of Huddersfield, which is the lead for the Center of Excellence in Rolling Stock, and the University of Southampton, which is the lead facility for the Center of Excellence in Infrastructure.

The University of Huddersfield is already collaborating with DB Cargo UK on research into rolling stock maintenance

Michael Weston, Executive Director of Projects at Avanti West Coast, said: “The West Coast Main Line has a proud history of innovating, and we’re keen to continue that as we aim to revolutionize rail travel.

“Joining the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network will help us to progress ideas, and explore opportunities, enabling us to play our part in building a railway for the future, as we strive to find new ways of working and initiatives that deliver the best possible customer experience.

“We’re excited to be a part of this great network of world-leading experts and look forward to collaborating with them to create a railway the UK can be proud of.”

Paul Plummer, Professor in Rail Strategy at the BCRRE said “In these challenging times it’s more important than ever that the industry is able to innovate to improve customer experience, sustainability and affordability. We’re delighted to be working with Avanti West Coast on their priorities and for them to become the first train operating company to join UKRRIN.”

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