Driving Innovation


At Unipart Rail, we are proud to serve the World’s railways. The fourth industrial revolution provides a once in a generation opportunity to fully digitise design, delivery and operations of freight and passenger services towards a zero-carbon future.

Unipart Rail brings new technology to the industry

We develop our own, source from innovators, and collaborate with SMEs to deliver the best innovation possible sources to deliver increased operational efficiencies and maintenance savings.

Why our innovation matters

Our customers demand constant evolution of technology - whilst maintaining the best available. To ensure we remain the supplier of choice for our rail customers, delivering reliable, cost-effective products and services, innovation is the driver of the Unipart Rail sustainable business model.

How we bridge the divide between our customers and innovators

In house, through great sourcing, and by investing in collaborative development, we bring innovation through the approval process and into daily use.

Innovation case study

We are developing the electric version of the McCulloch TRT to eliminate the reliance on diesel and to reduce environmental impacts.

Realising your innovation though our world-class manufacturing solutions

High quality factory production delivers great innovation to the market. Our manufacturing services are built on decades of capability, and continual adaptation to new methods and technologies.

We work with the best to get the best

Collaborating with leading rail academics across Rolling Stock and Infrastructure, we embrace the key themes of the Rail Technical Strategy 2020, supplementing our Digital capabilities in partnership with the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (SCR LEP).

Digital as a core component of innovation

The railway is hungry for digital technology, however this requires subtle integration, informed by a comprehensive understanding of how complex rail network systems operate.

It's not just about Unipart Rail

Unipart Rail works with our Group technology experts and leverages industry leading manufacturing capabilities to ensure our products and services are fit for the demands of the World’s Railways.

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Introduction to Unipart Rail Innovation

We develop our own, source from innovators, and collaborate with SMEs to deliver the best innovation possible. Our relationship with UKRRIN demonstrates this, and our UKRRIN Innovation Hub is due for launch in Doncaster in summer 2021.

To ensure we remain at the cutting edge of rail innovation, in collaboration with our customers, Unipart Rail pioneers the Condition Based Supply Chain (CBSC) of integrated products and services, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), to design, manufacture and market next generation digital railway solutions.

Why we Innovate

Our customers demand constant evolution of technology – whilst maintaining the best available. To ensure we remain the supplier of choice for our rail customers, delivering reliable, cost-effective products and services, innovation is the driver of the Unipart Rail sustainable business model. 

We invest in cutting edge industry research to unlock a strategic pipeline of solutions to realise our future vision of the digital railway.

How we Innovate

In house, through great sourcing, and by investing in collaborative development, we bring innovation through the approval process and into daily use. 

We promote an open innovation model to ensure we listen carefully to our client requirements and actively encourage collaboration with industry partners including academics, SMEs and Technology Start-Ups to ensure our solutions are optimised for UK and global rail markets.

TRT-e Case Study

The TRT (Trac Rail Transposer) is a rubber tracked machine which can remove, reposition and install all profiles of rail and is also utilised to transport associated iron work including switches and crossings.  Designed, manufactured and sold in the UK by McCulloch Rail, Unipart Rail manage international distribution via exclusive licence. This innovation supports Rail Technical Strategy 2020 Key Theme ‘Lower Emissions’.

Originally powered by Tier 4/Stage V compliant diesel engines, we share our customers’ vision of zero emission rail plant & maintenance equipment and this project will deliver that. 

One of the TRT’s main benefits is its ability to be used in confined spaces (tunnels, underground or stations), where traditional larger rail plant cannot be safely operated.  

Manufacturing Capability

High quality factory production delivers great innovation to the market. Our manufacturing services are built on decades of capability, and continual adaptation to new methods and technologies. 

Though our own extensive workshop facilities, and those of our partners MetLase, Park Signalling and Comms design, we offer electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical and mechanical hardware manufacturing, plus in-house software development teams, that can take a solution from initial requirement to volume production and aftermarket support.

Our Rail Innovation Partners

Unipart Rail in Doncaster are proud to be the home of the UKRRIN technology hub (United Kingdom Rail Research Innovation Network). In collaboration with leading rail academics across Rolling Stock and Infrastructure, we embrace the key themes of the Rail Technical Strategy 2020, supplementing our Digital capabilities in partnership with the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (SCR LEP).

The DIGI-RAIL project provides technical and business/commercial support to eligible SMEs looking to enter or grow their business in the rail industry, focussing on supplying the Digital Railway.

The UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) is designed to create powerful collaboration between academia and industry, aiming to provide a step-change in innovation in the sector.

 

Sheffield City Region LEP works with a number of Local Authorities, businesses, communities and other partners to support economic growth across South Yorkshire and the wider city region. 

 

Digital Capability

The railway is hungry for digital technology, however this requires subtle integration, informed by a comprehensive understanding of how complex rail network systems operate. 

Digital twinning, testing and migration from current to future state is key to success. Risks must be assessed and mitigated to ensure that the failsafe approach that underpins our critical systems are maintained. Unipart Rail’s engineering and technical expertise drives our digital capabilities to successful deployment of new solutions that add real value. 

Our Digital Team harnesses hardware and software skills to deliver successes, and to challenge convention in a positive way.

Group Technology Capability

Unipart Rail works with our Group technology experts and leverages industry leading manufacturing capabilities to ensure our products and services are fit for the demands of the World’s Railways. 

Our supply chain and logistics offering is unrivalled in the rail industry and our extensive client base ensures innovative products are adopted on an unprecedented scale, helping to drive the rail industry towards 4.0.

We also provide manufacturing services for SMEs with new innovations.

To find out more about Innovation at Unipart Rail please email: innovation@unipartrail.com