29th April 2016

A group of 12 budding engineers from SNC-Lavalin’s Rail & Transit team in the UK is gearing up to compete in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Railway Challenge. This is taking place in July at the Stapleford Miniature Railway near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

The competition will see eight teams compete against each other to design and manufacture the best, most innovative, efficient and quietest small-scale locomotive. The teams competing this year are:

  • University of Birmingham
  • Bombardier/Derby University
  • University of Huddersfield (winners in 2013)
  • SNC-Lavalin (winners in 2012, under the company’s former name, Interfleet)
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • TfL (winners in 2014 and 2015)
  • WMG, University of Warwick
Andris Upenieks, one of SNC-Lavalin’s Graduate Engineers, commented: “Taking part in the Railway Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience of what’s needed to make a locomotive from start to finish.  Our focus is developing innovative solutions which drive technology forward within the rail industry, so this is a great place to showcase our ideas.
“The competition is run along the lines of a real-life tendering process. Working as a team, we have to come up with an initial concept, prepare a business case, finance, design, manufacture and build our locomotive from scratch.
“The experience will be invaluable in our future careers and we are excited to put our hard work to the test in July. We’re also looking forward to the networking opportunities over the weekend.”
The competition comprises of a series of track based and presentation challenges, including a design report and (new for 2016) an ‘Innovation Challenge’ which involves the production of an academic paper on the innovations in the loco. 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 – including one of the Railway Challenge judges.

The competition will take place on 2nd and 3rd July 2016 at Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire.

The trophy will be presented to the winning team on Sunday 3rd July by Jon Hilton, who will by then be President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 

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