Ricardo Rail wins Railway Challenge on debut

Posted on 12 Jul 2018 and read 560 times
Ricardo Rail wins Railway Challenge on debutA team of graduate student and apprentice engineers from consultancy Ricardo Rail (www.rail.ricardo.com) beat nine other teams to be crowned the Grand Champion of this year’s Railway Challenge, which was held from 28 June to 1 July at Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

The competition requires participants to design and manufacture a 101/4in-gauge railway locomotive and undertake a number of challenges.

These include a design report and business presentation, as well as track-based challenges related to the locomotive’s traction, ride comfort, noise, maintainability and ability to store energy.

Ricardo Rail beat teams from UK and German universities, as well as last year’s winner SNC Lavalin Rail and Transit.

Head judge Bill Reeve, who is director of rail at Transport Scotland and a Fellow of the IMechE, said: “This year’s Railway Challenge was the toughest competition yet. For Ricardo to win in the first year it has competed is an
outstanding achievement.

"Good team work and project management, with sound system engineering and testing, delivered an impressive and reliable performance.”

Benjamin Morley, graduate consultant engineer and project manager of the Ricardo Rail team, said: “We had a team that worked really well together and benefitted from cross-industry expertise by having railway and automotive team members. The general design wasn’t over complicated, although we did concentrate our efforts on energy recovery.”

The judges said they were impressed by the wide range of solutions for traction and braking systems, plus suspension designs.

The locomotives also featured fuel cells, internal combustion, batteries, super-capacitors and mechanical energy storage.

The overall results (in descending order) were: Ricardo Rail, SNC-Lavalin Rail and Transit, University of Birmingham, FH Aachen and Reuschling University (Germany), TFL (Transport for London), University of Sheffield, University of Warwick, University of Huddersfield, Bombardier Transportation and University of Derby, and Siemens and University of Southampton.

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