iRail once again on track in highlighting rail careers.

iRail once again on track in highlighting rail careers.

The eighth annual iRail event took place at Derby’s Pride Park stadium on 14th March 2017, giving 12 groups of secondary school children the chance to take part in an interactive design challenge designed to inspire young people into careers in the rail industry.

Behind the scenes with Bombardier and Network Rail

As part of the iRail itinerary, pupils were given a tour of Bombardier’s Derby facility, where they were taken through the manufacturing process behind rolling stock construction, as well as Network Rail’s base, where they were given a tour around the infrastructure owner’s mobile maintenance train.

The bulk of the day centred around this year’s engineering challenge, which tasked pupils with building a paper bridge to go over a curved section of model track underneath it.

The bridge had to be wide enough to allow a model train carrying a tube to safely pass underneath, and students were judged on their designs based on whether they could hold the weight of a model train, as well as how cost-effective they were (teams had the choice to buy additional materials to improve their models) and how innovative their designs were.

The two top teams, Loughborough High School and Lady Manners were invited to present their completed designs, whilst explaining their choices and evaluating their work in front of the judges.

Special thanks go Peter Stanton Innovation of Mechanical Engineers
Stephen Pearce Derby County Football Finance Director
Lynne Mentiply CILT Regional Officer for Eastern, East Midlands and Northern Home Counties
Ivan Youd Relationship Manager (Engineering & Rail) – Dept Of Business Innovation & Skills

The final winners were Loughborough High School who were praised for thinking about using cylindrical and triangular shapes to make their structures stronger, as well as for opting to spend £100,000 of their budget on a ‘test’, allowing the team to analyse their bridge to make adjustments before handing it to the judges.

The winners were presented with an iRail trophy and tickets for Brian Cox’s Science show.

iRail event 2017 (49)

RTM 2017 iRail article here.

Photos from the day can be found here.

Workshops leading up to the event were extremely successful showcased here with feedback from Vision Studio School.