Rail vehicle design and analysis

Rail vehicle design and analysis
Photo courtesy Drax / National Railway Museum

Award-winning vehicle engineering services

Our award-winning railway design and engineering teams have an established record of supporting rolling stock owners, operators, manufacturers and maintenance suppliers throughout the entire design-build-maintain lifecycle.

Past and present rail design projects have seen us working on multiple units, locomotives, coaches, freight and heritage models. Assignments have included: developing full bodyshell designs, overseeing refurbishment programmes, retrofitting of CCTV and WiFi systems, and converting units to low-carbon traction technologies.

Our teams are also renowned for their specialist expertise in fields such as structural failure investigation and gauging and dynamics analysis, including kinematic envelopes and vehicle size/load optimisation.

In-house manufacturing

For many years Ricardo has produced transmission and driveline products from advanced concept through to fully developed and validated systems. When required, our own facilities in Europe and the US are available to manufacture components and support testing capabilities.

What does rail design and analysis involve?

Our experts will work with your teams to ensure they have access to the right specialist support when they require it, with our capabilities including: 

  • Project engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Structural analysis
  • Weight analysis
  • 3-D models and drawing production
  • Gauging and dynamic analysis
  • Electrical design
  • Mechanical design
  • Guidance on the approvals process from colleagues in Ricardo Certification

The benefits of our design and analysis service to you

Few organisations can match the full range of engineering experience and capabilities offered by the Ricardo group.  

From initial requirements capture, through to design and engineering, in-house manufacturing and an independent approvals business, we offer you end-to-end support that will give you the confidence that your project will progress on time and on budget. 


HydroFLEX - hydrogen powered traction

HydroFLEX - hydrogen powered traction

We have over 50 years' experience of delivering cleaner, more efficient engines for rail clients. In October 2020 we helped prepare HydroFLEX, the UK’s first hydrogen powered train, for testing on the national mainline.

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