News & Events-Radical train competition accelerates (1)

The Radical Train competition, run by the rail industry's Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) and supported by engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash, has been a huge success yielding almost 60 high quality entries from a diverse cross cross-sector range of industries including automotive and renewables. 

Engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash assisted EIT in shortlisting the 57 entries to 11 through a process which evaluated delivery challenge, cost, export potential, contribution to raising the profile of innovation in UK Rail and technology maturity.

These bidders were then invited to present their concept to a review team comprising of David Clarke from EIT and representatives from TOCs, ROSCOs, and London Underground in partnership with engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash who provided technical evaluation and process support.

Following two days of interviews eight proposals were chosen to move forward to the next stage and include the following technologies:

-           A kinetic energy recovery and storage system;

-           A better diesel engine burn system to reduce emissions;

-           A low carbon regional railcar featuring energy storage;

-           Lightweight composite structures offering reduced production costs;

-           Integral wheel-motor technology;

-           Modelling of novel train operations to enhance railway capacity;

-           A novel radial freight bogie;

-           Active adhesion monitoring and management.


David Clarke, Director, Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) said; "We are very pleased with the response from the industry to the Radical Train initiative. A strong entry of high quality ideas made selection for the next phase a tough task but it has been a pleasure working with the innovators involved."

Speaking about the entries, Richard Jones, Business Manager for Rail at Frazer-Nash said, "This has been a unique opportunity for innovative companies, and not just those within the Rail Industry. We have had entries from a wide cross section of industries including motorsport and renewables. We are delighted to have been involved in this exciting initiative and we are looking forward to the next phase of the project."

The project now enters a development phase of up to 10 weeks where Frazer-Nash will work with the selected bidders, most made up of several companies working together, to bring the offers up to the necessary standard to be contractible propositions.

David Clarke continues "Where we can reach a contract more quickly, we will do so - essentially, as soon as the technical and commercial due diligence is completed we want to be funding the development of demonstrators which show how these technologies can be adopted by the industry.  We look forward to being able to announce more about the companies involved shortly."