Loughborough University issues invitation to tender for the development of failsafe railway track switch

Loughborough University engineers have issued an invitation to engage the rail industry to help with the development of a prototype track switch.

Repoint is the result of research carried out with industry experts into improved switches which eradicate known issues with existing designs, by allowing redundant, fail-safe actuation and locking of track switches for the first time. This means that a failure of a single actuator element will not cause the failure of the entire switch – allowing trains to continue until such a time as maintenance becomes feasible. 

The next stage of the two-and-a-half-year project, funded by RSSB, is for the development and deployment of a full scale, prototype track switch upon London Underground infrastructure. It will be progressed alongside RSSB, London Underground, and its supply base. 

Repoint has been led by Professor Roger DixonSenior Project Engineer Sam BemmentProfessor Roger Goodall, and Dr Chris Ward. The team are part of the Control Systems Research Group in the University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering. 

Licences to roll out Repoint’s patented technology will be made available both inside and outside of the UK, and the University will be engaging with the partners in the rail industry worldwide over the coming years. 

Professor Dixon, Head of the Control Systems Research Group, said: “This invitation to tender is a golden opportunity to be involved with a project offering breakthrough technology that hasn’t been seen before. Once implemented, Repoint will improve reliability and increase capacity on our expanding rail network. We invite you to be a part of this journey.” 

Companies interested in bidding for the contract, which has an approximate value of £400,000, should email C.Vallis@lboro.ac.uk

More information on the invitation to tender is available on the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) website – a supplement to the Official Journal of the EU.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/87

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.



Charlotte Hester

PR Officer

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PR team

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