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Southampton establishes rail link with China

Published: 5 June 2015

The University of Southampton has signed an agreement with Chinese high-speed train manufacturer CSR Qingdao Sifang (CSR Sifang) to establish a new centre for railway research and development.

The ‘China-UK Rail Transit Technology Joint Research and Development Centre’, which also involves Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham, will undertake research to develop new technologies, materials and manufacturing processes for high-speed trains and metros.

The University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) is collaborating with CSR, which has manufactured around half of China’s entire high-speed rail fleet, on research and development into biodynamics and ride comfort, vibration and noise reduction, human factors and staff training.

The ISVR established an initial collaboration with CSR two years ago. Two joint projects on cabin active noise control and passenger sound quality are currently ongoing. The main focus of the new project is research into and the development of an active noise control seat to improve ride comfort and to reduce noise in the passenger’s head area. The research will be conducted using the unique range of test facilities within ISVR’s Human Factors Research Unit

The multi-axis simulator in the Human Factors Research Unit, where the research will be conducted.
The multi-axis simulator

Dr Yi Qiu, Associate Professor in ISVR, said: “The implementation and outcomes of the project will help advance our understanding of the characteristics of passenger ride vibration and acoustics to develop better solutions for reducing vibration and noise to improve ride comfort for high-speed trains.”

Professor Paul White, Director of ISVR, added: “We hope this project marks the start of a long and fruitful relationship with CSR Sifang working towards solving some of the engineering challenges associated with high-speed rail travel.”

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