Government awards £5m to train tech projects

First of a Kind 2022 competition for train tech Image credit: Shutterstock / IR Stone

The government has awarded over £5m to companies developing tech aimed at decarbonising and improving train travel, from self-charging trains to automatic flood detection on rail tracks.

Each of the 24 winners of the First of a Kind 2022 competition will receive up to £400,000 in grant funding from the Department for Transport competition in collaboration with Innovate UK.

Mark Harper, transport secretary, said: “This is just the beginning and, as Transport Secretary, I am determined to support British innovation and create a cutting edge, green rail industry that delivers even more benefits for passengers and freight.”

Recipients include Echion Technologies for its batteries that draw power from overhead cables, Thales Ground Transportation Systems’ sensor that can spot people near tracks and Peak to Peak’s rail stress sensor.

Winners of the funding can apply for more cash next year if they can demonstrate successful train tech use cases.

“Companies from all over the UK have demonstrated the quality of their innovations in previous rounds of this scheme,” said Mike Biddle, executive director, net zero at Innovate UK.

“Now we will support even more innovations to help deliver a greener railway that benefits passengers, employees and customers for rail freight.”

You can see the full list of 24 winners of the First of a Kind 2022 competition here.