University Rail Research Center Could Provide Multi-Billion Pound Boost to U.K. Economy

The University of Leeds' research center will provide more jobs and prove to be excellent value for money.
Fabienne Lang
The photo credit line may appear like thisMarc Scruton/iStock

The U.K.'s economy could see a big boost come 2050, all thanks to trains. The University of Leeds is building a rail research center, and analyses are pointing towards a multi-billion pound boost for the local economy once it's up and running. 

The city of Leeds area alone is projected to see £240 million added to its coffers, and many new jobs created for its citizens.

The economic consultant group, GENECON, provided a detailed analysis of the project. 


Incredible value for money

Once the scheme is up and running, it'll generate between £5 and nearly £7 for every pound spent, demonstrating just how good value for money it'll be. 

GENECON's analysis stated that the benefits for the U.K.'s economy could be potentially massive, should the Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration get up and running as it's meant to. 

Furthermore, they stated that "just a one percent improvement in U.K. rail operations could generate around £3 billion in value to the U.K. economy by 2050."

GENECON's analysis also estimated that an additional 300 jobs would be generated thanks to the Institute. A number of further jobs will be created down the rail industry supply chain as well.

What's the purpose of the Institute?

It will count as one of the most advanced experimental rail research centers in the world. It'll be able to test both regular and high-speed rail systems. 

The plan is for it to revolutionize how new rail systems are invented, developed, and brought into service. This will improve general performance as well as passenger satisfaction.

It'll be one of the first centers in the world to look into how rail systems are integrated as an entity: measuring how train, track, power systems, and signals work together as one system.

University Rail Research Center Could Provide Multi-Billion Pound Boost to U.K. Economy
High-speed train in the U.K. Source: Jeremy Segrott/Flickr

Professor Peter Woodward, Director of the Institute mentioned "We will help the rail industry introduce new ideas and technologies more quickly and at a reduced cost. That will add to rail industry efficiency."

Currently, integrating new rail systems is a nightmare as new systems and trains are incompatible with older technology and systems. 

Managing Director of GENECON, David Tuck, stated the "By improving rail network efficiency, the new Institute has a critical role to play in accelerating UK productivity growth, as well as acting as a catalyst to the rail industry and related investment in and around the Leeds Enterprise Zone."

Construction of the Institute is underway.


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