The CRC for Rail Innovation recognises the importance of investing in the future of collaborative research.

To date, the CRC has awarded 77 CRC Research Scholarships to PhD and Masters Candidates across our seven partner universities to enable post graduate students to carry out further research in topics that span all of our themes. Many of the student topics are aligned to our CRC projects.

To gain an appreciation of the breadth of this research, click on the names below to learn more.

Urban Rail Access

Liesel Henn - Optimal funding mechanisms for High Speed Rail along the East Coast of Australia.

PhD Candidate - Southern Cross University

The Australian government recently released the results of Phase 1 of a feasibility study on the economic benefits and financial viability of a high speed rail (HSR) network connecting the cities along the east coast of Australia. The case for HSR in Australia is becoming increasingly stronger owing to a range of environmental and emissions credentials, its ability to provide capacity relief for airports, as well as significant economic stimulus and employment opportunities. Public finance economic theory deals with identifying what collective activities government should be providing, how to fund it, as well as the administration and design of those activities. This research deals with the second aspect: How to fund a collective good? The potential HSR project is suggested as an application for public finance economic theory, given the range of complexities presented in such a large-scale project, as well as the ongoing interest and relevance in the transport arena. The research seeks to significantly improve understanding of the considerations for funding options for HSR in Australia in the midst of uncertainty and an evolving landscape. It is proposed to achieve this through the development of an appropriate framework for funding and delivery of an HSR system, including economic and social performance and efficiency KPIs.

Lily Hirsch - It's a jungle in here: A study of crowding on Indian trains.

PhD Candidate - Central Queensland University

Whilst crowding is mainly understood by industry from a ‘loading’ perspective, the experience of the faceless individual in the crowd is often forgotten. Research with rail passengers in Mumbai and Chennai, India will examine the experiences of individual commuters. The results of this research will benefit Australian rail industries by gleaning new perspectives of how commuters manage daily in extremely high passenger density situations.


Vincent Moug – Station Design

PhD Candidate – Monash University

Improving ease of accessibility is widely recognised within the rail industry, particularly for wheelchair access and safety concerns towards passengers with mobility restrictions. Current research seeks to approach this problem from a design led perspective, focusing on user interactions to expand mobility design knowledge within the Australasian rail industry.

Ongoing research disseminates the work of the CRC for Rail Innovation Project R1.134 -Station Design Guidelines. R1.134 documented a range of holistic design principles and issues to consider in station design and infrastructure development. A noticeable issue was the difficulty facing rail operators is the provision of Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT). One readily apparent issue is achieving safe level boarding from the platform to train. As to how best retrofit stations and platforms infrastructure towards achieving compliancy particularly at heritage stations is task of the current research.

The successful designing of platform access is of importance to the rail industry with a 2022 milestone of 100 per cent accessibility compliance. Addressing this concern the research aims to exhibit a functional design solution via a physical prototype system of products.

Aligned to project Station Design