The University of Birmingham has signed a deal with academics in China to run a new laboratory to research high speed rail.

It has joined forces with Beijing Jiaotong University to run the new research lab that will be based at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education.

The joint lab is aimed at developing the partnership between the UK and China to source information that will help the global railway industry.

It comes after the two universities have already collaborated on several railway projects, funded by both China and the UK’s governments and industry.

Clive Roberts, Professor of Railway Systems at the University of Birmingham, said: “I am delighted we have signed this collaboration agreement.

“We have already shown that our collaborations can bring about technological change in both the UK and China, and I am looking forward to growing our existing relationship to cover other areas.”

He said that in the last six years he and Beijing Jiaotong University’s Dr Lei Chen have jointly published more than ten top-ranking academic papers on railway research. And the two universities have signed a deal that has seen students from China studying in Birmingham.

Dr Chen added: ‘The agreement will initiate the set-up of a joint international research platform across Europe and China to bring global expertise on high-speed railway technology and to deliver cutting-edge railway research, benefiting the development of high-speed railway programmes in the UK, China and other countries.”

Prof Hairong Dong, also of the university in Beijing, said: “The UK has a long history of research into railway technologies.

“China has achieved rapid development over the last decade in the areas of high-speed rail and developed leading railway technology.

“The set-up of the joint high-speed railway research centre will help to enhance the global leadership of the two countries in the area of high speed rail.”