Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds high speed rail research hub backed by government

Artist's impression Image copyright University of Leeds
Image caption It is hoped the development, based at Gateway 45, could open by 2021

A high speed rail research facility in Leeds aiming to "transform transport systems across the world" has been backed by the government.

The Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration will work as a hub for rail design, construction and manufacturing research.

Operated by the University of Leeds, it will be built at Gateway 45 near a HS2 rolling stock depot.

The government will contribute £11m to fund the hub, which could open by 2021.

A further £40m has come from the university and partners in the rail industry, with £13m from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.

The institute will include a vehicle testing area allowing trains to be trialled "under real-world conditions" and an open air track testing facility.

Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, said: "This new testing facility will be one of the most advanced in the world and will revolutionise the UK's approach to high speed rail system design and implementation.

"Not only will it reduce the number of issues we see on the operational railway, it will help to bring economic growth and jobs to the area for many years to come."

In July 2018, it was confirmed a HS2 rolling stock depot to maintain high-speed trains would be built at Gateway 45, which is near the M1 in the south east of the city.

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