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Gen Y Rail north west winners named

Four teams have made it through to the Gen Y Rail national final in Coventry after an eventful day at the north west heat, held in Manchester Town Hall yesterday.  

Throughout the day, 16 teams from across the region were given the challenge to design a futuristic train. Once they had come up with a plan, they presented it to a Dragons’ Den style panel of industry judges. 

Ideas ranged from driverless trains through to e-ticketing, solar power backups through to electro magnetised carriages and a lot more innovative ideas. 

Two winners were picked from the school-age teams – ‘EBA Bright Lights’ Eaton Bank Academy and ‘Chorlton Carriages’ from Chorlton High School – and two from sixth-form and college-aged students –  ‘Total Train Integration’ and ‘Stock-portables’. both from Stockport College. EBA Brain Waves also received a commendation for their efforts. 

Stephen Kelly, 19, a member of winning team ‘Stock-portables’, who has also been accepted onto Network Rail’s apprenticeship programme, told RTM: “These events are great. I just wish they had been around when I was a little younger, looking to start my A-levels. 

“I’m really looking forward to staring the three-year apprenticeship, especially as a career in rail is so varied.” 

Saima Latif, lecturer in the engineering department at Stockport College, said how proud she was of both the teams and hoped they could do just as well in the national final.

The all-girl EBA Bright Lights were also commended by Jenny Angus, professional learning co-ordinator at Eaton Bank Academy, who said the girls had done a fantastic job throughout the day. 

One of the event’s judges, Crinela Pislaru, senior lecturer at the Institute of Railway Research (IRR), University of Huddersfield, said: “This has been a very useful event, and I am very glad to see that there was an equal number of boys and girls participating. 

“I am very keen to encourage children to study STEM subjects and these types of events can only help in stimulating interest in these areas going forward.” 

The national final will take place at Network Rail’s Westwood training facility in Coventry on 25 June. 

Full coverage and photos from the Gen Y Rail North West event will be published in the June/July 2014 edition of Rail Technology Magazine. 

Gen Y Rail, run by RTM's charity the UK Rail Industry Training Trust (UKRITT) is a new series of engagement and educational events for young people around the country, which showcases the types of careers and opportunities available in the UK rail industry. Visit:

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