What Does Innovation Mean?

April 25, 2022

Innovation is the topic of the moment in the railway. With a focus on delivering, attracting, or inspiring innovation, what does this mean? How can we continue to inspire innovation in the railway and where do we feel our contribution fits?

Innovation is the topic of the moment in the railway. With a focus on delivering, attracting, or inspiring innovation, what does this mean? How can we continue to inspire innovation in the railway and where do we feel our contribution fits?

Here at D/Gauge, we have defined what innovation looks like to us. We summarise our innovation as ‘Pioneering’. We're very privileged to be a trusted group of engineers whose opinion is sought after, especially in new gauging scenarios. Pioneering, for our team, is a series of firsts. These new challenges enable us to expand our thinking. They allow us to think outside the box, or the 'gauge' in our case. Over the past 15 years we have been able to expand the space around vehicles and improve the capability of our railways whilst having a good handle on the risk and safety implications.  

How Do These Innovations Assist Us In The Railway?

Our railway industry is a hub for all things innovation. With numerous industry partners and associations carving time for creative, out of the box conversations, we’ve never been in a better position to start.

In April alone, D/Gauge were invited to two very exciting Innovation events, one hosted by the team at the University of Derby Innovation centre. A stone’s throw from our offices on Pride Park, we were able to meet with esteemed research colleagues who presented the major progress we are making to make the railway sustainable and scalable for the future. Marketing and Business Development Manager Mandeep Singh said ‘The tour around the facilities was extremely eye opening. To see projects that our colleagues from Alstom had carried out with the University students was great to see community engagement. For the railway, having the backing of researchers at the Universities of Derby, Birmingham and Hull allow us to get behind innovative initiatives and gather our knowledge to give them a true attempt.

We also attended the Scotland Electrification conference hosted by the PWI. Deep-diving into how to develop the business case for electrification, we were able to add real value in how our next-generation gauging methodology allows projects to view electrification with a different lens. Probabilistic pantograph gauging unlocks more space by using complex algorithmic gauging but offers enhanced insight into the real changes required to install overhead electrification equipment. Project engineer Richard Cumberlidge said ‘The conference was a great opportunity to see a synchronised approach to achieving electrification. It was good to see the different ways in which the supply chain came up with ideas to do more electrification safely across the Scottish network, and how we fit into that puzzle.’

The Railway Industry Association is also hosting an event titled the ‘Innovation’ conference, a stopover at a beautiful location in Nottingham where colleagues can come together to become inspired, learn and share with colleagues and shape the future of our railways economy.

It’s a great time to get involved in these industry initiatives and we’re always looking for different railway challenges to see how we can assist with railway projects using gauging to reach favourable outcomes.

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