Performance engineering

Ricardo brings a fresh and different engineering approach to international railway customers — from operators and regulators to train builders and equipment manufacturers.

Our service builds upon our long-standing experience in a wide range of transportation sectors, and brings deep industry knowledge and expertise through our dedicated rail sector team.

Our engineering expertise covers:


We have a global team of over 800 engines engineers with experience delivering complete turnkey projects covering DMUs to locomotives.

Driveline and transmission systems

Our driveline and transmissions team has the capability to design, develop and manufacture complete systems all under one roof.

Vehicle systems

Our award-winning vehicle design and engineering team has a proven record of delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions across all forms of rolling stock.

Previous assignments have included multiple units, locomotives, coaches, freight and even heritage models, and have ranged from full bodyshell design to interior refurbishments. We also design bespoke components and sub-systems, such as bogies and under-frame equipment.

Hybrid and electric systems

Ricardo has extensive experience in delivering cost-effective solutions for eMachines. We are able to take concepts from a business case through to complete industrialization programmes and have extensive design, simulation and systems integration experience, as well as in-depth knowledge in all of the relevant technologies. 

We provide unparalleled experience and expertise in vehicle hybridization, electrification and the deployment of next-generation energy management and storage solutions.


We have design studios fully equipped with state-of-the-art CAE facilities and test facilities equipped to handle rail powertrains of up to 8MW. Our high-performance niche manufacture and assembly facilities enable us to deliver complete turnkey projects from initial concept right through to production.

The focus of our rail engineering services 

  • Driving down costs — utilizing the very latest technology and process knowledge to reduce rolling stock cost of production and operational energy consumption, including through the optimization of vehicle weight, outsourcing engine warranty management, smart tendering requirements management, optimal management of technology deployment and the use of next-generation engine management systems
  • Extending asset life — improving existing diesel powertrains, systems optimization of traction control, safety critical electronic system development, powertrain failure analysis and problem rectification
  • Reducing emissions — diesel engine compliance to Stage 3b and 4 emissions without weight or package penalty
  • Next generation local clean power systems — avoiding the need for cabling while providing clean uninterruptable power for safety critical trackside systems
  • Improving rolling stock NVH — using the very latest in noise and vibration simulation and analysis technology to create a more pleasant environment for passengers and more durable rail vehicle and track systems
  • Innovative technology based solutions — including intelligent route planning and management, advanced energy storage solutions, waste heat recovery and advanced train-to-train signalling systems

Key benefits of the Ricardo service

  • Independent, objective and practical advice tailored to the needs of rail sector customers
  • Expertise with in-depth sector knowledge and thinking from multiple transportation sectors 
  • High quality, efficient and rigorous design process and expertise
  • Access to world-leading experts in engine and transmission technology, products and systems
  • Access to non-railway supply chains, reducing costs and improving competitive advantage
  • Multi-modal transportation expertise
  • Faster introduction of reliable and high quality technology, products and innovations
  • Strong track record of successful technology research, including the negotiation of external sources of funding


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