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About SPARK

​​​​​​​​​​​SPARK External link​ is a free, interactive web tool for the rail industry. SPARK gives you access to a range of publications, provides information on research projects and initiatives, and gives pointers to test facilities, centres of expertise, and data sources.

Materials are uploaded in SPARK from a wide variety of sources to give you access to the combined wisdom of organisations from across the globe.

SPARK also allows you to contribute your own information, meaning you can join a community of professionals working together to share knowledge, reduce duplication and speed up innovation.

Who can access SPARK?

SPARK is free to access and open to anyone, anywhere. Visit www.sparkrail.org to register and start accessing information straight away. If you already have an account for RSSB.co.uk, or any other RSSB website, you can use these details during registration to speed up the process.

If you have material to add to SPARK, you can apply to become a Contributor and, in return, gain access to even more content.

There are also additional access levels for RSSB members and members of the International Rail Research Board.

What will I gain from searching in SPARK?

SPARK brings a wealth of rail knowledge to your fingertips. At the heart of SPARK is a library covering topics ranging from infrastructure to rolling stock, from operations to system interaction, from human factors to policies and strategies.

Additionally, each SPARK user has their own personal profile, making it possible to seek out individual expertise, make connections, generate on-line discussions and ultimately engage in collaborative working.

What should I share via SPARK and why?

Add anything that will not become quickly obsolete and could help people understand what is going on in the railway world, in terms of technological development, strategies, research and development and innovation (R&D&I) initiatives and projects.

As a contributor, you can use SPARK as a shop window for your research, your organisation and your capabilities. This allows you to showcase your expertise in front of a rapidly-expanding global audience of rail professionals. For example:

  • Let other SPARK users know if you are engaged in an innovation-related initiative
  • Share a paper or presentation you have written or initiate a discussion on a research idea that you are considering pursing.

Even where you don’t want to fully share materials, a ‘pointer’ in SPARK on how more detailed information can be obtained is still very useful.

Let’s not forget that the more everyone shares, the more everyone will find.

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