The East Midlands Track Alliance (EMTA) is a consortium formed by BWB, Integ Solutions and Nottingham University to work with UK Tram on their Low Impact Light Rail research programme. The £3m programme aims to find ways of reducing the cost and impact of light rail and EMTA entered an innovative shallow, light rail track slab system. After being appointed to a first stage of desk-based feasibility work, EMTA progressed to a short list of contributors engaged by UK Tram to further develop their ideas. EMTA then worked with Rail Alliance to help facilitate a construction trial at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre at Long Marston, Warwickshire.
Approaches that would make the track slab systems accessible in a wide variety of construction environments across the world were applied throughout EMTA's work. EMTA also wanted construction to be within the reach of SME scale civil engineering contractors rather than rail industry specialists and these principles led to a pre-cast concrete based solution, in which the advantages of off or near site manufacturing for the main structural components could be secured. Following the construction trial, Traject has been established to take the track slab concepts to their next stage of development.