Railway Challenge


About Railway Challenge     

The Railway Challenge, organised by our Railway Division, provides a brilliant opportunity for aspiring teams to compete in yet another challenging industry-specific competition, showcasing their skills, expertise, knowledge, and business acumen.

Each annual Challenge cycle kicks-off in October, ending with a final event in late June/early July of the following year.

The Challenge, now in its tenth successive year, continues to bring together teams of university students, as well as apprentices and graduates working in industry across the world to test their business knowledge, design ability and technical skills in a live test environment.

Participants are required to design and manufacture a miniature (10¼” gauge) railway locomotive in accordance with a set of strict rules and a detailed technical specification. The locomotives will be tested live at the competition weekend, which takes place in June/July at Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire, where several categories of winners and an overall Railway Challenge champion will be crowned.

All teams are also asked to attend a virtual welcome seminar in November and a site visit in February at Stapleford Miniature Railway for a Q&A session with the Railway Challenge volunteers and judges.

Railway Challenge Awards

A special awards scheme is usually open to all registered teams of the Railway Challenge. The deadline for applications closes on 18 December 2020. Visit our team document library for more information and to apply.

Railway Challenge 2021 Teams 

  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Huddersfield
  • FH Aachen & Reuschling, Team Emma loves J.I.M.
  • Brunel University London
  • University of Warwick
  • Bombardier & University of Derby
  • University of Birmingham
  • Lenz Ltd
  • Poznan University of Technology
  • Newcastle University
  • Transport for London
  • Network Rail

Challenge News

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The Challenge


  • Produce a design proposal and a prototype for a small locomotive for a large corporation
  • Manufacture the prototype and test it against prototypes manufactured by the other teams.

Learn about the Challenge

Challenge Sponsors and Partners

Working in collaboration with


  • RIA_logo_notagline
  • rail forum midlands