Latest Rail News

27.06.14

Gearing up for the Railway Challenge

Some of the country's top young engineering minds are preparing for this year’s Railway Challenge, which takes place on Sunday at the Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire.

Five teams of student, apprentice and graduate engineers from Derby, Birmingham, Huddersfield, Sheffield and London are taking part in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers competition to see how can design and build the “best, most efficient and quietest small-scale locomotive”.

Derby’s Interfleet Technology Ltd, Birmingham University, Sheffield University, Transport for London (TfL), and Huddersfield University (last year’s winners) are taking part.

2012’s inaugural event was won by Interfleet, while a team from Birmingham that year showed off an innovative hydrogen-powered loco.

818 1 Hydrogen loco by the lake

A new competition element this year focuses on noise, as well as the traditional ones on energy storage, traction, and ride comfort.

Philippa Oldham, IMechE head of transport and manufacturing, said: “The Railway Challenge gives students, graduates and apprentices a fantastic opportunity to test their engineering skills and to get a taste of a real business experience.

344 railway

“The Challenge is run along the lines of a real-life tendering process, and teams have to prepare a business case, finance, design, and build a locomotive from scratch.

“It is exciting to see that our two previous winning teams, Interfleet and Huddersfield, will be back to see if they can repeat their success, as well as hugely exciting to see two completely new teams, Sheffield and TfL, taking part.

“The new challenge, focusing on noise, is also going to present teams with a very demanding task.”

uob

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 – including one of the Railway Challenge judges.

The trophy will be presented to the winning team by Group Captain Mark Hunt, President of the IMechE.

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