Track to the Future is a prestigious £5.2M EPSRC Programme Grant bringing together academics from the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham, Huddersfield and Nottingham and key industry players.

Railway track is being more intensively used as the frequency and speed of trains continue to increase. The time available for maintenance is decreasing and pressure is growing to reduce cost and environmental impacts, including noise and vibration. At the same time climate change is imposing new pressures on old infrastructure, sometimes with major impacts on exposed coastal railways and vulnerable earthworks.

We are addressing these challenges with state-of-the-art experimental and analytical techniques, and the integration of advanced sub-system models in the areas of geomechanics, track systems, vehicle dynamics, noise and vibration. Our research will lead to track that will cost less and last longer with reduced maintenance needs, causing significantly less disruption to travellers.


Our key objectives and research challenges are

To develop low-maintenance, long-life track systems with optimised material use in terms of whole life cost and embedded carbon

To design crossings and transitions so as to optimise vehicle behaviour through them and hence maximise resistance to damage

To develop an integrated approach to designing a low-noise, low-vibration track.

Latest News

Unwin Lecture 2018: Transitions, Disruptors and the Quest for Sustainability, London

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T2F Principal Investigator William Powrie will present the prestigious Unwin Lecture, together with Professor Chris Rogers of the University of Birmingham, on 9th October at the Institution of Civil Engineers, London….

T2F partners participate in European rail research project In2Rail (video)

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The €18M In2Rail project held its final conference in Vienna on 19th April. All four Track to the Future partners contributed to the joint research and reports in the Smart…

Two new research studentships advertised at Southampton

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Two new research studentships are offered with the leading research group at the University of Southampton. More details via the following links: Investigating the long-term response of geogrid-reinforced ballast under…