A team of budding engineers from Transport for London (TfL) won a national competition to design and manufacture the most efficient, reliable and quietest small-scale locomotive at a recent competition held at Stapleford Miniature Railway, near Melton.
The 11-strong team went head-to-head with teams from Derby’s Interfleet Technology Ltd (runners-up), the University of Southampton (third place) as well as the University of Birmingham, University of Huddersfield, University of Sheffield and Swindon’s TE Connectivity.
The locomotives are designed to work on 10 1/4 inch gauge railway line and compete while hauling a 600kg load – which includes one of the Railway Challenge judges.
Prof Richard Folkson, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who presented TfL with their award, said: “TfL did fantastically well, showing ingenuity, ambition and fantastic team-work.
“The Railway Challenge presents a unique opportunity for these young engineers to convert their designs into practical applications. The competition is gruelling and runs along the lines of a real-life tendering process. The teams have to prepare a business case, safety case, financial plans and design, and have to build a locomotive from scratch.
“I’d like to congratulate not only TfL but all the teams for taking part, as well as acknowledging the fantastic work of the volunteers to make the event so successful and allowing it to grow year-on-year.”
Bejal Mandalia, from the TfL team, said: “This is fantastic achievement and the whole team is delighted that all our hard work this year has paid off.
“Taking part in the Railway Challenge has given the whole team very useful experience of the whole process of developing a locomotive. This hands-on experience is going to be hugely valuable to our future careers maintaining and developing London’s rail and underground network.”