Railway Challenge


Why participate?

The Railway Challenge provides the real-life experience of the entire cycle of designing and manufacturing a prototype in a structured environment supported by academic and industry mentors. In a fairly risk free but representative environment, teams and individuals develop key engineering skills alongside business and soft skills that will enhance their future in an engineering career.


  • Develop and demonstrate technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills
  • Obtain practical and rounded railway engineering skills
  • Gain real-world engineering experience before stepping into a job
  • Learn and practice key soft skills such as team-working and time management alongside project management, budgeting and presentation skills. Becoming better equipped for a long-lasting career in engineering
  • Meet leading professionals in railway engineering and network with potential future employers.

Integration with university curriculum and graduation scheme

The Challenge encourages participants to follow a systems engineering process, through requirements generation, design, manufacture, verification, and the final validation at the competition event.

The Challenge can be integrated into one or more units or coursework exercises for units covering:

  • Systems engineering
  • Team projects
  • Design projects
  • Research projects
  • Business/professional studies
  • Aerodynamics/performance
  • Structures/materials
  • Design/Manufacturing
  • Control/autonomy/robotics.

Practical/lab exercises can be built around the testing skills needed. The Challenge provides a natural focus for team design or research projects.

Advice is available from other universities and companies who have successfully integrated it into their degree/graduate scheme – get in touch with us for more info.

"The Institution's Railway Challenge is not simply a locomotive building contest, but a competition that centres on emerging technology and is specifically focused on the application of innovation to key issues such as efficiency and energy recovery.

The railway industry is entering a period of rapid changes due to the global demand for producing efficient high speed transport systems, taking freight on to rail and off road, and driving down carbon emissions from transport.

These challenges must be met by the next generation of railway engineers and the Railway Challenge is providing teams of young engineers with experience of designing and manufacturing a prototype vehicle to meet these demands."
Professor Simon Iwnicki, Railway Challenge Chair

Challenge Sponsor

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