Competition schedule

This competition time schedule is considered to be a guideline and may change during the competition weekend.

Friday, May 31

  • Arrival, free testing

Saturday, June 1

  • 09:00: Event and Safety Briefing
  • 09:30 - 12:00: Free testing
  • 13:00 - 16:00: Competition trial run
    • 13:00: Team A
    • 14:00: Team B
    • 15:00: Team C
  • 16:20 - 18:00: Business Case Presentations
    • 16:20: Team A
    • 16:45: Team B
    • 17:10: Team C
    • 17:35: Team D
  • 18:00 - : Free Testing and Endurance Test

Sunday, June 2

  • 09:00: Event and Safety Briefing
  • 09:30: Welcome
  • 09:40 - 11:40: Competition Runs
    • 09:40: Team C
    • 10:20: Team B
    • 11:00: Team A
  • 11:40 - 12:30: Judges Deliberation
  • 13:00: Awards Ceremony
  • 14:00: Farewell and Departure

Visitor registration

Join us in Bad Schussenried! Please register for free here.

Team information

Team EAGLE (TH Nürnberg)

Team EAGLE (Erste Arbeitsgruppe zur Lokomotive Entwicklung Nürnberg, ≈ First working group on locomotive development Nuremberg) was founded at the beginning of 2022 and consists of 6 students of natural sciences and engineering, supported by 3 employees of the Institute of Automotive Engineering (IFZN) located at the Nuremberg University of Technology. Despite some problems, it enters the RWC 2023 already one year after its foundation with a complete, innovative locomotive, named after the historical model “ADLER” (Automated Driving Locomotive Efficient Railway).

Image depicting the Nuremberg team during assembly

Team PUTrain (TU Poznan)

PUTrain is a Polish team of students from Poznań University of Technology, which has been building its own locomotives and competing in the Railway Challenge since 2018. Its projects focus on using non-obvious solutions, such as replacing steel parts with composite components, and reducing the bad impact on the environment by using renewable energy sources to power their vehicles.

Image depicting the Poznan team with their locomotive at the IMechE Railway challenge

Team FH2Rail (FH Aachen & AlphaTrains)

After an encouraging first participation in the IMechE Railway Challenge in 2017 with their locomotive Emma, FH Aachen was able to win the overall competition in 2019 and 2022 with their loco Molly. The team of 2024 builds a new locomotive Carla, enabling the driver to sit in the locommootive. Basing on the record breaking NEPOMUK bogiues, Carla combines high power with good efficiency of the traction system, thus providing a basis for small-scale innovations readily available to students.

Image depicting the Aachen locomotive at the IMechE Railway challenge 2022

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Welcome to, an ever-evolving interdisciplinary student group dedicated to one primary objective: Pioneering innovative solutions to bring our railway system back on track. Being the first participants from Baden-Württemberg, we are proud to represent Karlsruhe, home of the well known Karlsruher Modell. Established in October 2023, we anticipate this year’s challenge as an opportunity to present our innovative concepts. As we gear up for the forthcoming challenge, scheduled for 2025, we look forward to unveiling the first generation of KARLA. Stay railed!

Image showing the KIT team presenting their logo

Why Railway Challenge?

Started in UK as IMechE Railway Challenge, it was quickly accepted as a unique means of educating you professionals to work in projects in the railway sector while at the same time conveying an innovative image to interested young people.

The aim of the teams is to develop, build and test a locomotive for 10,25" (260 mm) gauge railway. This gauge is well established in UK, however somewhat rare in Europe. The advantage of this gauge (and the approximate 1:5 scale) is the comparably low weight and cost of the vehicles as well as the ability to use components with relatively short lead times.

The development cycle is embedded in a 10 month project with milestones and documentation.

The European Railway Challenge closely follows the specification and rules of the IMechE Railway Challenge, which enables teams to enter both competitions. With the European Challenge held some weeks prior to the IMechE Challenge, this provides opportunity to test the teams and the locomotives before entering the UK event.

The European Railway Challenge is made possible thanks to support from Alpha Trains, Deutsche Maschinentechnische Gesellschaft, Stadler, Talbot Services, Verband der Bahnindustrie in Deutschland, TÜV SÜD and Gesellschaft für elektrische Zugausrüstung.

Collaboration on the locomotive

The competition is conceived as a series of individual challenges, both document based and on track. Notable examples for these challenges include

  • Stadler Energy Recovery Challenge
  • Talbot Ride Comfort Challenge
  • VDB Traction Challenge
  • DMG Innovation Challenge

Points are assigned to all challenges and they can also be won individually. The team with the highest overall points becomes the “Grand Champion”.

Watch the video of IMechE below:

What to expect?

In order to enter the European Railway Challenge, you need to form a team of 5 to 15 individuals together with a supervisor. The team members shall be students, young professionals within their first two years after graduation or apprentices. It is possible to form a team from multiple organisations, e.g. a company partnering with a local university.

Work on the locomotive

Your teams needs

  • A motivation - in order to get the best out of these young people, ideally management backed
  • A budget - depending on your needs and planning, a minimum of 10.000 € needs to be taken into account
  • A workshop - the locomotive needs to be assembled
  • An opportunity to test - might be anything from a couple metres of track to a dedicated railway track

For the 2024 challenge, four European teams registered:

  • TH Nürnberg
  • University of Poznan, Team PUTrain
  • FH Aachen, Team Molly loves J.I.M.
  • KIT Karlsruhe as new entry

The railway challenge 2024 is supported by great railway organisations. Confirmed so far:

  • Alpha Train Europe - Main Event Sponsor

  • Stadler - Energy Recovery Challenge

  • Talbot Services GmbH - Ride Comfort Challenge

  • Verband der Bahnindustrie - Traction Challenge

  • Deutsche Maschinentechnische Gesellschaft - Innovation Challenge

  • TÜV SÜD AG - Supporter

  • GEZ Rail Solutions - Supporter

We thank all sponsors and supporters for their contribution to this unique gathering of young railway potentials!

When and where?

Track in Bad Schussenried

The European Railway Challenge is set to take place May 31 to June 2 2024 in Bad Schussenried, Germany. The track may be available for test runs in the week before the Challenge, this must be agreed between the local railway and the teams.

The team registration closes on October 14 2023, however concept presentation for early stage teams can still be considered.

Visitors can help us be registering for free here.

How to join?

Register your team for this exiting challenge via mail: Also feel free to contact Raphael Pfaff via this mail to clarify any questions! We look forward to welcome you in Bad Schussenried!

If you want to support us as a sponsor, please contact Raphael as well!

Technical details

Performance outline

The locomotive to be developed by the team runs on 10,25" tracks and has to fulfill (among others, see below) these requirements:

  • Wheel set load <= 500 kg
  • Vehicle mass <= 2000 kg
  • Maximum velocity = 15 km/h
  • Minimum train weight > 1800 kg
  • Maximum track gradient 1.2%

The performance is documented by design calculations and testing documentation.

FH Aachen entry 2022 &ldquo;Molly&rdquo;

Technical requirements

The locomotive is built according to the technical specification as issued by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which can be downloaded here.

The rules of the individual challenges are also set to follow the IMechE rules as provided here.

Further documentation (e.g. structure gauge, wheelset drawings) can be found here.

Following the IMechE approach, ride-on locomotive operation is optional in 2024 and required in 2025. Please remember to provide sufficient and convincing safety analyses.