Under the agreement, which was signed by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC director general, and Mr Anson Jack, RSSB's deputy chief executive, the Spark website will be expanded to provide free access to railway research for both members of the two organisations as well as members of the global railway community.

Spark contains a library, including papers from WCRR conferences, where registered users are able to view and upload documents related to railway research and innovation. Spark is a virtual space for rail professionals and researchers to network and cooperate, and showcase their work to the wider community. The UIC and RSSB hope this will reduce duplication and stimulate and accelerate innovation.

Spark is owned and managed by RSSB which will continue to upload its own research material. The UIC says it will also add content and encourage its staff to use and contribute to Spark. The intellectual property rights remain with whoever owns and has the right to place the material on Spark. Access Spark at: www.sparkrail.org and view a more detailed description of Spark here.