Wednesday 19th June saw the much anticipated formal reopening of the University of Birmingham Transient Aerodynamic Investigation (TRAIN) rig facility following a £1.5 million upgrade as part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) project. A special event was held at the Hallmark Hotel Derby Midland to celebrate the occasion, drawing together members from academia, industry and those who have previously worked at the facility.
The TRAIN rig is a unique purpose built testing facility for examining the transient aerodynamics of moving vehicles; with advantages over conventional wind tunnel facilities through the ability to correctly simulate the relative motion between a moving vehicle and the ground/structures or crosswind simulation. The facility has recently undergone a large £1.5 million upgrade as part of the UKCRIC project.
The vision of the UKCRIC is to create, operate and coordinate an (inter)national multi-disciplinary research programme in a partnership between Industry, Government and Academia. The Government has provided £138 million of funding in total for UK national and local infrastructure (such as transport, water, waste, energy and ICT systems) to be fit for purpose for supporting societal development in a changing world. The facility upgrade works at the TRAIN rig include building extension works, developing a crosswind tunnel and increasing instrumentation capabilities.
The event also celebrated the launch of a new book entitled ‘Train Aerodynamics – fundamentals and applications’, written by the Wind Engineering and Vehicle Aerodynamics research group in the School of Engineering. The book draws together for the first time internationally leading research on railway aerodynamics to provide a comprehensive overview of train aerodynamics to the benefit of railway engineers, train operators, train manufacturers, infrastructure managers and researchers of train aerodynamics.
The event was formally opened by Professor Mark Sterling and the Mayor of Derby Councillor Frank Harwood. Guest speakers Professor Chris Rogers, Professor Chris Baker and Dr David Soper then gave presentations on the UKCRIC project, the book and the TRAIN rig facility respectively. Following the presentations attendees were given the opportunity to go on a tour of the upgraded facility and discover the unique capabilities, before an evening supper and a chance for networking.
Dr David Soper, Lecturer in Vehicle Aerodynamics and TRAIN Rig Manager