The Rail Industry Research Strategy (RIRS), which was published in December 2007, established a set of strategic priorities for rail research to support the delivery of the rail industry’s long-term vision for the railway. In order to support the implementation of the RIRS a set of Enabling Actions aimed to tackle Strategic research, Collaboration and Delivery mechanisms were identified. This research project, Evaluating Impacts of Completed Rail Research, is Enabling Action 12 and sits within the area of delivery mechanisms. The project was sponsored by the DfT and carried out by TRL, University of Nottingham and NewRail at Newcastle University between September 2008 and April 2009. The objective of the project was to evaluate rail research carried out over the last 20 years in order to obtain an understanding of the impact of the research and to identify those characteristics of rail research that represent high value and enable strong uptake within the rail sector. To achieve this, the project took a combined bottom–up (predominantly information in the public domain, including libraries, databases and websites) and top-down (interviewing key stakeholders in the rail sector) approach to select a representative sample of 48 projects from rail research conducted over the last 20 years. This report provides the rail sector with critical success factors, illustrated by specific case studies, required for future rail research to have the maximum impact on the sector, along with a better understanding of the barriers to success.

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