The sixth IMechE Railway Challenge attracted a record 11 entries this year, including one from the German university FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences.

With 1,087 points, this year’s winner was SNC Lavalin – the company’s third win overall. The SNC Lavalin team was closely followed by the University of Birmingham, which took second place with 1,041 points, with the third place going to the University of Huddersfield on 889 points.

In remaining place order, the other teams were University of Sheffield, Transport for London, University of Southampton / Siemens, University of Warwick, Alstom; FH Aachen, Bombardier / University of Derby and Brunel University.

In addition to the track-based and presentation challenges, there was a special award for Brunel University’s novel and popular piston-powered locomotive. In addition, the judges felt there should be a load adjusted traction challenge award which was easily won by the Stapleford Miniature Railway, which hosted the competition with its 2-8-4 steam locomotive that hauled the spectator train.

IMechE president Carolyn Griffiths wished to applaud the teams. She felt that they were all a huge success, no matter where they were on the league table and was stunned by the speed at which the teams’ prototype locomotives had been developed and built. This was echoed by chief judge Bill Reeve who was inspired by the teams’ commitment and real effort.

Report by David Shirres