AUS have been awarded two contracts to lead Innovative projects that will make railways safer, greener, and more reliable.
The Department for Transport and Innovate UK launched a £9.4 million Small Business Research Initiative called First of a Kind 2020 to find this century’s Brunel & boost innovation in Rail.
AUS proposed two projects, both of which will start in July 2020 and conclude in March 2021

1. A Novel, Low Environmental Impact, Composite Railway Footbridge Project Costs: £399,466

The objective of this project is to demonstrate a new method of connecting fibre reinforced plastics together to form a footbridge.


The FRP TRUSS Connection System

The benefits of this technology include:

  • A structure that is as stiff and strong as a steel equivalent but at least 60% lighter

  • No maintenance requirements (corrosion)

  • High thermal resistance and stability

  • Easily maintained should vandalism occur

  • Electrically non-conductive – Major benefits for electrified railways

  • 75% reduction in carbon emissions

    A traditional Footbridge of the configuration that will be replicated using the FRP Truss System

2. Minimising disruption of overhead line renewals via novel headspan assemblies Project Costs: £321,542

The objective of this project is to demonstrate an innovative replacement for a Span Wire Clamp Assembly.

The benefits of the AUS’ design include:

  • A reduction in components of more than 50% and a mass reduction of 66%

  • An estimated 4-fold reduction in installation time

  • Unconditional corrosion resistance

  • A more reliable and resilient design – to be proven via testing and computational analysis

    Project Partners Include: