The partnership, which is part of the new British Railway Research and Innovation Network (RRIN), has won £28.1m of funding from the British Research Partnership Investment Fund managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, following a successful bid led by the University of Birmingham. The funding will be boosted by £64m of support from 17 partners including Alstom, Siemens and Bombardier.

The funding will focus on creating three centres of excellence forming the heart of the RRIN. The three centres are:

• digital systems - located at the University of Birmingham, will focus on railway control and simulation, data integration and cybersecurity, condition monitoring and sensing, and improved methods for technology introduction

• rolling stock - led by the University of Huddersfield in collaboration with Newcastle and Loughborough universities, it will focus on high-value rolling stock systems, whole-life asset optimisation and through-life management, and energy management, and

• infrastructure - led by the University of Southampton in collaboration with Sheffield, Loughborough, Nottingham and Heriot-Watt universities.

The centres of excellence will aim to develop technology and products for trains, systems and infrastructure in order to deliver a better, more reliable and efficient railway.