Students’ solutions for a slippery issue aim to improve rail transport

Year 10 teams presented their innovative solutions to the perennial and damaging ‘leaves on the line’ problem to Network Rail representatives and UTC staff at the end of a five-week employer-led project (ELP) on Wednesday 22 May.

Over a five-week period, students had been researching, brainstorming and discussing ideas to tackle the serious issue of leaves on the railway line. This costs just under £2 million a year for the Western Route alone and approximately £50 million a year to the rail industry overall.

At the project final, students had only four minutes to cover key criteria of how their solution would work, its ease of use, design innovation, cost to implement, cost benefit, staff safety and train/track safety.

Congratulations to the winners…

The Network Rail judges awarded team ‘Under Rail’ their overall winners: Harvey Ilot, Oliver Sawyer, Matthew Manders and Sam Bateman.

The UTC judges awarded team ‘Autobug’ their overall winners: Daniel Harris, Max Sylvester, Oliver Holyoak, Samuel Gillies and William Cross.

Prizes for the winning teams include a ride on the Measurement train from Swindon to Cardiff. This is not open to the public and is a high-tech train that measures many important aspects of the railway. They will also receive a Golden Ticket – giving the winners a return ticket to go anywhere on the GWR network for free.

Well done to all teams involved in the project, and a big thank you to Network Rail for this fantastic programme.







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