PhD Studentship: A Comparative Analysis of Rail Infrastructure Costs

University of Southampton - Transportation, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

In the wake of the Great Western Electrification Programme, there has been increased concern with the high and rising costs of rail infrastructure in the UK, in terms of both planning and construction. There are also concerns that rail infrastructure costs are higher than in comparable sectors such as road infrastructure. There are similar concerns in Nordic countries. The aim of this studentship would be to collate data sets of rail project costs and of comparable projects in other sectors (particularly roads). A large-scale entity-relationship-attribute database would be curated. Bottom-up and top-down costing approaches would be developed in order to relate out-turn costs to procurement mechanisms, planning procedures, organisational interfaces and regulatory measures, along with physical and economic characteristics. These models would then be used to estimate the impact of transformative digital technologies, such as those related to BIM (Building Information Modelling), on future costs. There would be scope for field visits and study in Copenhagen, Denmark. The ideal candidate will have a good first degree in Civil Engineering, Engineering Management or a related database and a research interest in transportation infrastructure.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor John Preston, Transportation Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 594660

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South East England