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The University of Huddersfield's
Railway Challenge team


HudRail is a team of ambitious and committed students at The University of Huddersfield from a range of disciplines including; mechanical, energy, motorsport, electronic and electrical engineering. The team has represented the University of Huddersfield in the since 2013 and aims to push the boundaries of modern railway engineering.

The HudRail team work hard to design, develop, and manufacture a 10 ¼” gauge railway locomotive to compete in a range of track-based challenges at the annual IMechE Railway Challenge held at Stapleford Miniature Railway.

The initiative provides excellent opportunities for students to develop their knowledge as engineers and understand how the development process of engineering projects is carried out from the research and design to the implementation and testing of the prototype. Project management, business planning, finances, and resources are all managed by the team.


The IMechE Railway Challenge brings together university students, apprentices, and recent graduates from around the world. Teams work to a strict technical specification and set of rules to produce a design proposal and prototype for a small railway locomotive “to test their business knowledge, design ability and technical skills in a live test environment”.

Track based challenges: Energy storage, traction, ride comfort, noise, auto-stop, maintainability, and reliability.

Presentation challenges: Design, business case presentation, and innovation report.

The cycle culminates with the challenge weekend, held 24th -29th June 2020, where the track-based and presentation challenges are carried out and judged.

Historically, the University of Huddersfield has been one of the first university teams to win the Railway Challenge, with other years being awarded to members of industry. The Railway Challenge is now in it's eighth successful year and is continuing to challenge every team and student to achieve their full potential as engineers whilst gathering teams from all across the world.


The University of Huddersfield has been one of the major protagonists in the IMechE Railway Challenge since its inception. Our team consists of a bright, dedicated group of Mechanical, Electrical and Control Engineers who strive to push the boundaries of railway engineering.

The first year that HudRail entered the competition (2013), we managed to walk away with 1st place!


2019 - 8th

2018 - 8th

2017 - 3rd

2016 - 5th

2015 - 4th

2014 - 4th

2013 - 1st


The MEng students on the team are responsible for the management of the HudRail project and overall team. Click “view more” to learn about the individual team members for the 2019/2020 cycle.

2020 Team Photo



We are really keen for students and the community to get involved and be a part of/ support the team. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any experience in rail, or what you are studying - if you are interested in getting involved then please do get in touch!

To join our society select “Join This Group” on our Students’ Union webpage:

The aim of the society is to engage students and the wider community in the railway industry and railway locomotive design. Additionally, we will be supporting our members to produce a working railway locomotive that is able to compete in all of the IMechE Railway Challenge challenges.

We welcome anybody who is interested in learning more about railway locomotive design or is wanting to get involved with any aspect of the project.

You do not have to be an engineering student to get involved! Skills such as graphic design, marketing, business and programming will all be highly valued.

The challenge rewards innovation and new ideas, so we will be looking at new technological solutions along with putting forward a business case for our design.

We will be holding trips related to the railway industry and improvement of our railway locomotive throughout the year.

We are open to collaborate with other people and societies to enhance our student life both academically and professionally.


If you would like to support the team in any way then we would love to hear from you!

Please get in touch via email and one of our team members will be sure to respond.


Keep up to date with the latest news here.


View a variety of the team's media.


Find out more about past members of the team.


View the latest research break-throughs in the field of railway.

Contact Us

There are a variety of ways to contact us. Feel free to 'follow' us on Twitter and Instagram, or 'like' our page on Facebook.
Send us an email at: or you can use the contact form below.

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