The Railway Challenge, organised by our Railway Division, provides a brilliant opportunity for aspiring teams to compete in a challenging industry-specific competition, showcasing their skills, expertise, knowledge, and business acumen.

The Challenge, now in its ninth successive year, continues to bring together teams of university students, as well as apprentices and graduates working in industry across the world to test their business knowledge, design ability and technical skills in a live test environment.

This year, due to COVID19 restrictions, teams will be given the opportunity to take part in a virtual challenge on 26th June to remotely deliver their design reports, innovation articles, technical posters, and business case presentations.

Is your team ready? Be the best prepared team in the competition with our online resources! Simply click on the title and log in with you IMechE details.

Find out more about the Railway Challenge here.

Library Resources:

Design and Simulation of Rail Vehicles


Focused on both non-powered and powered rail vehicles—freight and passenger rolling stock, locomotives, and self-powered vehicles used for public transport—this book introduces the problems involved in designing and modeling all types of rail vehicles. It explores the applications of vehicle dynamics, train operations, and track infrastructure maintenance. It introduces the fundamentals of locomotive design, multibody dynamics, and longitudinal train dynamics, and discusses co-simulation techniques. It also highlights recent advances in rail vehicle design, and contains applicable standards and acceptance tests from around the world.

Handbook of Railway Vehicle Dynamics

Second edition, 2019

This handbook provides expanded, fully updated coverage of railway vehicle dynamics. With chapters by international experts, this work surveys the main areas of rolling stock and locomotive dynamics. Topics added in the Second Edition include magnetic levitation, rail vehicle aerodynamics, and advances in traction and braking for full trains and individual vehicles.

Train Aerodynamics

Fundamentals and Applications


This book is the first reference to provide a comprehensive overview of train aerodynamics with full scale data results. With the most up-to-date information on recent advances and the possibilities of improvement in railway facilities, this book will benefit railway engineers, train operators, train manufacturers, infrastructure managers and researchers of train aerodynamics.

Wheel-rail interface handbook


This book is a one-stop reference for railway engineering practitioners and academic researchers. This comprehensive volume will enable practising railway engineers, in whatever discipline of railway engineering – infrastructure, vehicle design and safety, and so on – to enhance their understanding of wheel/rail issues, which have a major influence on the running of a reliable, efficient and safe railway.

Railway Noise and Vibration

Mechanisms, Modelling and Means of Control

David Thompson


This book brings together coverage of the theory of railway noise and vibration with practical applications of noise control technology at source to solve noise and vibration problems from railways. Each source of noise and vibration is described in a systematic way: rolling noise, curve squeal, bridge noise, aerodynamic noise, ground vibration and ground-borne noise, and vehicle interior noise.

Safety Theory and Control Technology of High-Speed Train Operation

Junfeng Wang


This book puts forward solutions for train dispatching and signal control.  In order to prevent collision, over-speed, derailment, and rear-end collision accidents, the concept and corresponding parallel monitoring technology of five core control items (train route, speed, tracking interval, temporary speed limit, train running state) is proposed.

Railway Management and Engineering

V.A. Profillidis

Fourth edition, 2014

This book aims to cover the need for a new scientific approach for railways. It is intended to be of use to railway managers, economists and engineers, consulting economists and engineers, students of schools of engineering, transportation, economics, and management. The book is divided into three parts, which deal successively with management, track, and rolling stock, environment and safety.

Railway Transportation Systems

Design, Construction and Operation

Christos N. Pyrgidis


This book presents a comprehensive overview of railway passenger and freight transport systems, from design through to construction and operation. It covers the range of railway passenger systems, from conventional and high speed inter-urban systems through to suburban, regional and urban ones. The book also provides a general overview of issues related to safety, interface with the environment, cutting-edge technologies, and finally the techniques that govern the stability and guidance of railway vehicles on track.

Mechanical Design Engineering Handbook

Peter RN Childs

Second edition, 2019

This handbook is a straight-talking and forward-thinking reference covering the design, specification, selection, use and integration of the machine elements that are fundamental to a wide range of engineering applications. Sections cover bearings, shafts, gears, seals, belts and chains, clutches and brakes, springs, fasteners, pneumatics and hydraulics, amongst other core mechanical elements. 

Reliability, Maintainabilty and Risk

Practical Methods for Engineers

David J. Smith

Ninth edition, 2017

This book has taught reliability and safety engineers techniques to minimise process design, operation defects, and failures for 35 years. For beginners, the book provides tactics on how to avoid pitfalls in this complex and wide field. For experts in the field, well-described, realistic, and illustrative examples and case studies add new insight and assistance. 

Archive resources:

Historic plans, drawings and journals available on the Virtual Archive.

Robert Wilson’s steam engine

c. 1850s

One plan showing side elevations and another showing mechanical detail.

Archive reference: NAS/1/18

Leicester and Swannington Railway

c. 1830s

Five side elevations of locomotives

Archive reference: PER/40

LNWR ‘Black Prince’


Detailed side elevation of “Black Prince” locomotive.

Archive reference: BUS/37/2

Webb’s passenger engine


Archive reference: BUS/37/1

Webb’s passenger engine


Archive reference: BUS/37/1

Theodore West

Drawings showing the history of locomotive design, 1771-1885

Archive reference: PER/25/2

Stephenson patent 11086


Improvement in locomotive steam engines

Archive reference: STE/1/1/8/1

Stephenson patent 11086


Improvement in locomotive steam engines

Archive reference: STE/1/1/8/1

William Andrews


Line drawings of engines and sections i.e. wheel

Archive reference: PER/7

David Joy


Drawings of locomotives and Joy’s journal

Archive reference: PER/25

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