Innovation Hub

Porterbrook was proud to showcase over 30 innovations, with a focus on UK SMEs, on the Innovation Hub at RailLive in June 2019.

Set up as a direct response to a challenge from our supply chain to find a way to fast-track their innovations into a real rail environment, the project involved re-purposing an off lease Class 319 into a show train to incorporate as many innovations as possible for demonstration to the industry.

In Autumn 2018, suppliers were asked to provide some basic information on the innovation they would like to showcase. Following a selection process, over 25 suppliers were chosen with a wide range of innovations including passenger facing enhancements, data analytics, environmentally friendly manufactured material, coatings to resist graffiti, innovative use of space and much, much more.

Porterbrook worked closely with the suppliers to understand their innovation and how it could be best displayed. Unit 319454 was allocated to this project and we worked collaboratively to bring the project to reality.

The unit was partially stripped out and an electrical supply system added to power innovations to create a blank canvas for interior upgrades and passenger facing improvements, more quickly and at a lower cost than usual. Our chosen suppliers enjoyed full access for measurements and product development and we adopted a simplified approval process that reduced development costs and allowed demonstration of early prototype versions.

Porterbrook is delighted to have been highly commended for the Innovation Hub at the 2019 Railway Industry Innovation Awards, which took place at the Hilton Paddington on Friday 28th June.