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IMechE launches ‘Railway Challenge’ competition for students and apprentices

29 February 2012

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has launched its first ever ‘Railway Challenge’, where student and apprentice teams will compete against each other to design and manufacture the best, and most efficient, small-scale locomotive. A major part of the competition will be the Energy Storage Challenge, where teams are required to store energy during braking and use it to drive the locomotive up a gradient.

IMechE head of transport, Philippa Oldham describes the new competition as a "fantastic springboard for young people wanting to pursue a career in railway engineering". The Institution has been running Formula Student, the biggest student motorsport competition in the world, for 15 years now, and the hope is that the Railway Challenge will be just as successful.

For the introductory competition, just four teams will be taking part, but next year Ms Oldham plans to open it up to any UK university or railway company.

In addition to the Energy Storage Challenge, there will be two other practical challenges focusing on traction and ride comfort. Teams will also be required to make a technical submission and prepare a business case.

The four teams taking part in this year’s event are from: Interfleet Technology, Birmingham University, Manchester Metropolitan University and an independent team of apprentices and students from Derby.

The event will take place at the Stapleford miniature railway near Melton Mowbray on June 30 and July 1.

For more information, click here.

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