Institute of Mechanical Engineers Railway Challenge

Continuing our interest in working with other groups who have model engineering related projects, we have a story to relay of an example of this.

ESME was approached last year by Finn Thompson, a student from Herriot Watt University, who was putting together a team of students to enter the Institute of Mechanical Engineers Railway Challenge

Their challenge involves designing, building and demonstrating a 10.25 inch gauge locomotive that meets a defined set of criteria and can compete in a range of performance challenges. One of the additional challenges that the Herriot Watt team face is the lack of a 10.25 inch track to test the locomotive on in Scotland. The idea of designing a locomotive with a dual gauge set up was put forward, to allow the Almondell 7.25 inch track to be used as an alternative test site.

Alec West was approached and kindly provided details of his Hunslet dual gauge design to give inspiration to the team. The suggestion of building a short and temporary piece of 10.25 inch track has also been put forward. Roger Speirs has provided general advice about how some of our locomotives are constructed and the team are expected at AMEC in the spring for a visit.

The team are currently working towards competing in a design challenge in 2024 and will follow up with an entry in the main challenge in 2025. The team needs a range of disciplines so if you know any Herriot Watt students that want to join this team or any organisations interested in working with or sponsoring the team then you may wish to point them towards the team’s website