Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast partner with academia network with aims to innovate the UK rail sector

Avanti West Coast are acting as industry leaders as they are the first train operator to join the UK Rail Research Innovation Network (UKRRIN), a prestigious network of world-leading experts and facilities that aim to revolutionise the rail sector.

The intercity operator provides services for major towns and cities across the UK’s West Coast between London and Scotland. As one of the major names within the sector, the partnership with UKRRIN could lead to further collaboration of other operators and academia, seeking to emulate the potential innovation that this partnership can bring.

The UKRRIN is led by the University of Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) with the ambitions revolutionise UK rail. This network offers members access to state of the art facilities and research from nationwide experts throughout the industry that can facilitate the development and adoption of new solutions and technologies.

Avanti West Coast’s partnership with the UKRRIN will provide them access to skills, knowledge and expertise of the University of Huddersfield and Southampton, through their subject specialists in digital systems, rolling stock and infrastructure. This will afford the operator opportunities to not just improve and innovate its customer experience, but its entire day-to-day operations.

The maiden voyage through this collaboration project will see the BCRRE analyse areas of the business to propose priorities for the future. This will include the operators behind-the-scenes operations, customer experience, passenger accessibility and inclusivity within the sector.

Michael Weston, Executive Director of Projects at Avanti West Coast, said:

 “The West Coast Main Line has a proud history of innovating, and we’re keen to continue that as we aim to revolutionise rail travel.

“Joining the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network will help us to progress ideas, explore opportunities, enabling us to play our part in building a railway for the future, as we strive to find new ways of working and initiatives that deliver the best possible customer experience.

“We’re excited to be a part of this great network of world-leading experts and look forward to collaborating with them to create a railway the UK can be proud of.”

Paul Plummer, Professor in Rail Strategy at the BCRRE said:

“In these challenging times it’s more important than ever that the industry is able to innovate to improve customer experience, sustainability and affordability. We’re delighted to be working with Avanti West Coast on their priorities and for them to become the first train operating company to join UKRRIN.”

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