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The Railway Challenge gets on track for 2018

Institution News Team

Railway Challenge 2017  - it's all teamwork!
Railway Challenge 2017 - it's all teamwork!

The thrilling test of teamwork and innovation is underway.

Now in its seventh successive year, the Railway Challenge provides engineering students and apprentices an unequalled platform to showcase their business knowledge, technical skills and design ability in a live environment.

During the challenge, held at the Stapleford Miniature Railway near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, teams will compete against each other to design and manufacture the best, most innovative, efficient and quietest small-scale locomotive.

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 finished locomotives will be tested live at the competition weekend, which will take place from 29 June to 1 July 2018. Several categories of winners will be crowned, as well as an overall Railway Challenge champion.

Luke Foy Railway Challenge Committee Member, reflects:

"The experience gained working on the project was invaluable. Not only did it align perfectly to the UK-SPEC to help towards my Chartership, but it also allowed everyone to get involved in many areas they may not of had the opportunity to in their day to day roles.

"In addition to a vast increase in technical knowledge, the larger benefit to me was the soft skills the project provides: leading people, collaborating with a team of peers, meeting personal deadlines, reporting to Directors and corresponding with external media - all of which has made me a more rounded and confident engineer." 

Become a sponsor or partner

This competition was launched by the Institution in active response to the very present challenge the railway industry faces in terms of an active and suited pipeline of potential candidates to graft into the recruitment and talent pool. We are looking for like-minded organisations to now partner with us by way of sponsorships and support. Consolidating an initiative to bridge the gap and uphold the future of the railway engineering young talent, to generate a pipe-line of job-ready young engineers experienced in practical skills and enhanced people and business skills, deliver profiled and relevant brand exposure and to be part of a network of industry leaders that promote innovation.

"The IMechE Railway Challenge is not simply a locomotive building contest, but a competition that centres on emerging technology. It 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, Chairman of Railway Challenge.

Teams taking part in the Railway Challenge in 2018 are:

  1. University of Warwick
  2. University of Sheffield
  3. FH Aachen & Reuschling University from Germany
  4. Siemens & University of Southampton
  5. SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit
  6. University of Huddersfield
  7. Ricardo Rail
  8. University of Birmingham
  9. TFL (Transport for London)
  10. Bombardier Transportation & University of Derby
  11. Helwan University, Egypt

To find out more and register visit

Sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available.


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