Transport Secretary’s HS2 decision boosts new rail institute

A Government announcement has unlocked the potential of the University’s new institute for high speed rail.

The Transport Secretary has confirmed the location of a new HS2 depot, which will maintain and service the brand new high speed trains.

Its location alongside the Institute combines the depot with the University’s advanced testing facilities to create a “thriving hub” for future engineers. 

The co-location, to the East of Leeds, ensures the region benefits from the predicted economic growth from the HS2. 

The Institute brings to Leeds a ‘whole system’ approach to high speed rail planning, design, construction and manufacturing, the only one of its kind in the UK.

Advancing high speed rail 

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation said: “The location of the depot, combined with the new advanced testing facilities as part of the University’s Institute, are a significant step forward for UK high speed rail capability.

“They position Leeds City Region as a global centre for high speed rail research and development, so we’re working closely with HS2 to ensure our facilities align with its needs and those of industry, so all sides can deliver for the country.”

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said: “The depot will act as an economic catalyst, creating skilled jobs, boosting the local economy by unlocking regeneration opportunities and driving continued investment.

“This ensures Leeds will not only see immediate benefits when HS2 arrives but will see Yorkshire become a thriving hub for training the engineers that HS2 and future major projects will need.” 

Investment and training

The Rolling Stock depot has a crucial role in enabling 24-hour maintenance of the brand new high-speed trains, set to deliver faster journeys for passengers on the East Coast mainline. 

It will create up to 125 skilled jobs, building on HS2’s commitment to create more than 100,000 new jobs and 2,000 apprentices. 

The Institute of High Speed Rail Technology and System Integration is also expected to attract significant inward investment and jobs to Leeds City Region, as well as training postgraduate engineers through new MSc courses and PhDs.

Creating opportunities for people to study alongside experts, the University has launched a new MSc course on Railway Engineering with Project Management, as well as new PhD opportunities to ensure a pipeline of skilled professionals for the industry.

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