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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 IMechE Railway Challenge since 2013, and are two time champions.
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, and aims to push the boundaries of modern railway engineering.
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 process 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 22nd-25th June 2023, where the track-based and presentation challenges are carried out and judged.
The University of Huddersfield was one of the first university teams to win the Railway Challenge, and is one of the two most successful University teams in the competition’s history (having won the competition twice, tied with Aachen University of Applied Sciences). Now in our eleventh competition year, the Railway Challenge is continuing to challenge every student to achieve their full potential as engineers on an international stage.


The University of Huddersfield has competed in every Railway Challenge since 2013. Our team consists of bright, dedicated engineers who strive to push the boundaries of railway engineering. HudRail has won the competition twice; in 2013 and 2021.


2022 - 8th

2021 – 1st

2020 – N/A

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 2022/2023 cycle.

2022 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 at and one of our team members will be sure to respond. You can also contact us on Instagram @hud_rail.


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

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Send us an email at: or you can use the contact form below.

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