WASHINGTON – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been awarded up to $5,000,000 by the Federal Railroad Administration to establish the National University Rail Center of Excellence. The Center would be dedicated to developing a future railroad workforce while advancing research to enhance the safety, efficiency, and reliability of passenger and freight rail transportation. Led by the University of Illinois, the Center includes a consortium of nine partner institutions, including the University of Illinois Chicago, University of Delaware, Kansas State University, Michigan Technological University, Morgan State University, Rutgers University, University of Texas at Austin, and Tuskegee University.
The Center’s potential research topics include the development of technologies to advance Positive Train Control systems, human factors, rail infrastructure enhancements, shared corridor solutions, grade crossing safety, trespasser prevention, inspection technology, remote sensing applications, operational reliability enhancements, energy efficiency measures, and other subjects to promote and improve rail transportation.
Under the program, the FRA will provide up to 50% of the cost of establishing and operating the center of excellence and supporting research activities. Each of the nine universities within the consortium will contribute a portion of the total non-Federal match. The Center is set to operate for 3 years.