THE University of Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) in Britain has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rock Rail to establish a strategic partnership on addressing railway rolling stock cybersecurity.

The Rosco has invested £3bn in 1576 new vehicles and says it considers cybersecurity to be a key strategic area of focus for its business, both in delivering new rolling stock and in its asset management.

The MoU establishes a strategic research and teaching partnership between BCRRE and the Rosco to address specific cybersecurity challenges including the application of technologies, process and controls to protect systems, effective guidance for the railway sector and supply chain, and establishing key principles of best practice.

BCRRE says that in the past 10 years the rail industry and networks in the European Union (EU) have suffered from incidents such as ransomware, data breaches, intrusions and malware.

Rock Rail manages fleets built by Alstom, Hitachi, Siemens and Stadler in Britain and is exporting its leasing model to Germany, France and Australia.

“Establishing this research and development partnership allows us to continue to share and develop our expert knowledge in cybersecurity,” says Mr Clive Roberts, head of school of engineering at the University of Birmingham. “Our expertise in this area, built up over many years of industrial partnership, will enable us to assess and develop solutions for cybersecurity issues that affect the whole of the railway including signalling, rolling stock, and supply chain.”