One of the projects that won a government financing competition to change the future of transportation is the development of so-called self-charging trains. According to the Department for Transport (DfT), Echion Technologies, located in Cambridgeshire, is developing train batteries that overhead wires can charge.
The plan called for the train to use the power to travel further on portions of the track without electricity. Nowadays, bi-mode trains that can run on diesel and overhead wires are frequently employed on British railways.
The Thales Ground Transportation effort to develop sensors that identify when a human is approaching the tracks is one of the projects that received a share of more than £5 million from the DfT’s First of a Kind 2022 competition. It is thought that doing this will lessen disruption and possibly stop suicides.
Over 100 transformative projects
According to Mike Biddle, Executive Director for Net Zero at Innovate UK, which is running the FOAK programme on behalf of the government’s Department for Transport, “the innovations funded through this competition will help to deliver a greener, lower-emissions railway carrying increasingly higher proportions of the UK’s freight.”
As initiatives transition from concepts to realisation, winners with a track record of success will have the chance to advance for additional financing in the following year. Over 100 projects revolutionising the industry have already been launched with aid from the First of a Kind competition.
Previous winners include Riding Sunbeams, which uses sunlight to power trains, and 4Silence’s sound-bending walls, which reduce train noise.
According to a government statement, “Companies from all over the UK have proved the excellence of their inventions in prior rounds of this scheme.” “Now we’ll promote even more technologies to help build a greener railroad that benefits riders, workers, and rail freight customers,” the statement continued.
Public response to the project
“The UK has a long history of leading the way in railway innovation, and the First of a Kind competition is getting the best brains of today to develop the trains of tomorrow,” said Transport Secretary Mark Harper.
“We are bringing concepts to life that will revolutionise our railroads and make them greener than ever before, thanks to millions of pounds in Government financing. This is only the beginning, and in my capacity as Transport Secretary, I’m committed to encouraging British ingenuity and developing a cutting-edge, environmentally friendly rail sector that will provide even greater benefits for both passengers and freight.”
Other winning projects
Among the winning projects is an automatic system that recognises and prevents track flooding, state-of-the-art electric drivetrains that replace polluting Diesel engines, and new technology to instantaneously convey track information to improve rail safety.
As initiatives transition from concepts to realisation, winners with a track record of success will have the chance to advance for additional financing in the following year.
Over 100 projects that are revolutionising the industry as a whole have already been launched with aid from the First of a Kind competition. Previous winners include Riding Sunbeams, which uses sunlight to power trains, and 4Silence’s sound-bending walls, which reduce train noise.