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In the same month that European teenagers have been awarded free InterRail travel passes, the University of Huddersfield has release details of a project exploring the possibility of using 3D printing to bring about the next generation of trains.

Led by Professor Simon Iwnicki at Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR), the project will be working with steel composite materials to make trains more reliable and hard-wearing.

Professor - Iwnicki - Team - Use - Lighter

Professor Iwnicki’s team are primarily investigating the use of lighter train parts made of modern materials as part of Run2Rail, a €2.7m collaborative project involving 15 partners around Europe.

Run2Rail falls under a broader scheme called Shift2Rail, a partnership between the railway industry and the European Commission. To date the commission has allocated nearly €1 billion in funding towards the scheme which seeks to address issues of congestion, energy supply and climate change.

Run2Rail - Team - Hope - Printing - Materials

The Run2Rail team hope to demonstrate that 3D printing and modern composite materials run in line with these issues, and make rail journeys more efficient, comfortable, lighter, less noisy and better for the environment.

In an interview with Eva Grey of Railway-Technology, Professor Iwnicki said “We’re looking at additive manufacturing, possibly using steel. This will probably be done for smaller components, maybe around the axle boxes and other components within the running gear. In that way, we...
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