Research and Innovation Ready to Use

We continually release new knowledge and insights to industry. We are always seeking to partner with organisations motivated to take up new research. We offer our early adopters support and subsequently show wider industry how to best realise the value. Could your organisation be first to see the benefits? If so, please get in touch.

Ground-breaking Research into Mental Health Training

Face-to-face training and e-learning equally effective

In this research project (T1124), both face-to-face training and e-learning led to sustained changes in line managers’ knowledge of mental health and their preparedness to act on mental health problems. The finding allows rail companies to choose a method of training that suits their organisation, without fear of compromising its effectiveness.

The research was the first of its kind to compare methods of delivering mental health training. Both sets of training were delivered by Mind, the mental health charity. The researchers compared the impact on face-to-face and e-learning participants against a control group, directly after the training and again six weeks later.

The project highlighted that, however mental health training is delivered, it should cover five topics.

  • Awareness of, and knowledge about, mental health
  • Communication skills
  • Supporting mental wellbeing through managing workplace risks
  • Managing absence and return to work
  • Responding appropriately to signs and symptoms

Next steps

To find out more and download a briefing leaflet, visit our Mental Health Training for Line Managers page.

RSSB and the Institute for Employment Studies will next research the impact of refresher mental health training, with findings due to be published by February 2020.

RSSB and Mind are working together to improve access to e-learning for rail companies. For further information, contact Michelle O'Sullivan, Mental Wellbeing Specialist.

"The proposed locomotive gauge seeks to utilise the maximum available space, achieves compliance with the Lower Sector Vehicle Gauge and simplifies the gauging process, with the potential to realise reduced industry costs."

Ian Glover
T&RS Projects Engineer, Freightliner Group Limited


New Locomotive Gauge will Cut Costs

New locomotive gauge accommodates wide range of existing locomotives and allows more space in designs.

The gauge has been modelled to incorporate the dynamic behaviour of a range of existing locomotives on the GB rail network.

The profile of the new locomotive gauge is based on the constraints of the existing network and rolling stock passing clearances. It will simplify both the design and introduction of new rolling stock and the cascade of older locomotive stock across the GB network.

This project is a part of our work to find solutions that lower the costs of gauging for the industry.

Next steps

The new locomotive gauge (with other new gauges) will be included in the revised GERT8073 Requirements for Standard Vehicle Gauges.

The full report (T995) is available in our Research Catalogue.

For further information, contact Paul Gray, Professional Lead Engineering.



Improving Access for all Passengers

Innovations to make life easier for passengers and help staff provide better customer service.

In September 2017, RSSB launched the Accessibility Innovation competition to find new ways to improve access to the railway for disabled passengers and those with less visible impairments.

The innovators are now ready to unveil their solutions to the rail industry.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing people


In the UK 11m people have hearing impairments. This project developed a toolkit to train staff in British Sign Language (BSL) and an app to deliver key customer information in BSL. Arriva Rail London is in the process of rolling out the training to its front line staff.

Station assessment


The ACCESS app offers a straightforward way to assess accessibility at stations, using a traffic-light system, and identify priorities for improvement. It is available now and free to download.

Less visible impairments


This immersive and interactive learning tool helps passengers to familiarise themselves with the train station environment by playing a game in which they complete navigational and problem-solving tasks.

The collected data can be used to help staff understand the situations their customers find challenging.


Zipabout combines big data and personalisation to make passengers’ journeys as seamless as possible, through real-time guidance fed to their preferred messaging app. The tool also gathers unique behavioural and demand data as passenger interact with it. It is currently being piloted with Great Western Railway.

People with dementia

Welcome Aboard

850,000 people in the UK live with dementia, and this number is set to rise to over a million by 2025. The Welcome Aboard app provides two-way communication between passengers and staff. It has a ‘check-in’ feature, to alert staff when a passenger gets to the station. A successful pilot was carried out at Edinburgh Waverley station. The app will be ready to use in January 2020.

People with autism


The Aubin app is a journey planner with a difference. Rather than focusing on the shortest journey time or lowest cost as other planners do, it allows people on the autistic spectrum to plan their journeys to minimise factors – such as changing trains or busy stations – they may find stressful.

The app will be ready for use in January 2020.

Next steps

Each of these companies is looking to work with partners to roll out their solutions. To find out more, contact Paul McGuire, Senior Programme Manager, Innovation.


Next read >>> In progress

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Research and Innovation Account Manager for further information.
Robert Staunton
Tel: 020 3142 5585
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