Teams get on track to compete in the Railway Challenge

Seven teams of student, apprentice and graduate engineers from around the UK are gearing up to compete in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) Railway Challenge, taking place in July at the Stapleford Miniature Railway near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

The IMechE holds its annual Railway Challenge to grow interest in the railway industry to combat the skills shortage in the sector with the hope that it may rival the aerospace and automotive sectors.

The competition will see teams compete against each other to design and manufacture the best, most innovative, efficient and quietest small-scale locomotive. Competing this year are teams from the universities of Birmingham, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Warwick as well as teams from Bombardier and Transport for London.

The competition comprises a series of track based and presentation challenges, including a design report and an ‘Innovation Challenge’ which involves the production of an academic paper on the innovations in the locomotive. The track based challenges include: energy storage, traction, ride comfort, noise, maintainability and energy efficiency.

The locomotives that will be competing are designed to work on 10¼” gauge railway line and must be powerful enough to transport a 600kg load.

The trophy will be presented to the winning team on 3 July by John Hilton who will by then be president of the IMechE.