2018 saw Porterbrook enhance its already strong relationship with academia, when the company announced it had joined the UK Railway Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN). Launched in February 2018, this unique organisation is a partnership between the rail industry and nine leading UK Universities delivering four world class centres of excellence

Porterbrook’s involvement increases its contribution to the process of closer collaboration between industry and academia. In particular, the move builds on the company’s already strong links with the University of Birmingham.

The UKRRIN Annual Conference saw over 240 top academics and industry leaders come together to explore how business and the academic sectors can work together to fast track innovative, world-beating products to market.

Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham are already working together on HydroFLEX, a full sized UK hydrogen powered passenger train due to be demonstrated at RailLive on 19 June 2019.

The University of Birmingham and Porterbrook believe that their exciting research and development partnership will ultimately lead to the commercial production of hydrogen powered trains, tailormade for the UK’s exacting loading gauge.

Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “I am particularly pleased that Porterbrook has joined UKRRIN. Through our work on HydroFLEX we know the quality of people and thinking to be found in British universities. We hope that we can complement that with our commercial flair, so that the railway’s passengers can benefit from improved technology that delivers better journeys.”