SPARK opens its doors to the IRRB community

3 December 2012

Since 2011 RSSB (a member of the IRRB) has been developing a web tool called SPARK designed to enable users to share and find key information on rail-related:

  • Publications
  • Research projects and their deliverables
  • Test facilities and centres of expertise.

The partnership agreement signed between UIC and RSSB in May 2012 has given SPARK an exciting new international scope, making it the global rail research platform for sharing information.
On December 6th, SPARK became fully accessible and operational for IRRB members.

IRRB member area, wider access and more material

As you know a number of IRRB members have started to use SPARK to share what they are working on, and signpost and showcase their publications. To facilitate this process we have now introduced new functionality to allow sharing with just the IRRB member community.
SPARK has also been made accessible to anyone who wants to register. They will have access to the new ‘Reader’ level, which means they have access to some material in SPARK. To maintain the quality of information ‘Readers’ will not be able to add content.
Rail professional and researchers outside the IRRB member community but willing to share material on SPARK can apply to be ‘Contributors’. In return, they will gain access to the wider body of information reserved for the contributor community.

A lot of new content has been recently added to SPARK and more will follow in the next few weeks including:

  • World Congress of Railway Research papers from all the previous editions
  • Material already provided by IRRB members (CRC, Network Rail, RTRI, FFE, RSSB)
  • ERRAC ROADMAP Evaluation Working Group (WG6) database on evaluation of past EU projects

What does it mean for you?

If you are not yet a SPARK user, now is the time to register. As a member of staff at an IRRB member organisation, you will be granted privileged contributor access and you will be part of the IRRB member community.
If you are already a SPARK user, your profile has been automatically upgraded.
For any material you add, you will now need to decide whether to make it visible to Readers (anyone in the world) or restricted to Contributors, to incentivise others to share. You also have the option to share only with just the IRRB members.

A bigger opportunity

  • Are you seeking to avoid duplication and speed up innovation?
  • Are you after opportunities for networking and cooperation?
  • Do you what to know what other people are doing on specific issues?

With more people joining, and more experts and organisations sharing, now is the ideal time to increase your use of SPARK. Do not forget that there is more to SPARK than just searching. The more everyone shares, the more everyone will find!

So, please share information about what you are working on and the research projects and initiatives you are involved in; publicise your centre of expertise or your test facility; signpost relevant information that the SPARK community should be aware of; add your areas of expertise to your profile.

For additional information, please contact:
Mr. Rob CURTIS, RSSB Knowledge Manager (