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Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2019 attracts record number of delegates

A record 620 delegates from across the UK rail sector attended the fourth Big Rail Diversity Challenge at Newark Showground on Thursday, 27 June 2019.

The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is charity Women in Rail’s annual flagship event designed to highlight the benefits of gender balance and diversity in the industry.

Delegates took part in a plethora of physically and mentally demanding challenges – including Build a Scarecrow, Haka and It’s a Knockout! – aiming to show that gender diverse teams work better together; and to raise the awareness of the business benefits when companies improve their male:female worker ratio.


“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important step in the rail industry agenda. It openly seeks to disprove one of the most destructive myths in professional life: that women and men cannot work effectively together. By engaging both men and women in equal measure, we have started to tackle gender imbalance head-on and create a more attractive, productive and successful industry in the process,” comments Adeline Ginn, Founder of Women in Rail.

Members of the British Transport Police, RAF, British Army Royal Engineers, alongside rail industry charities Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children, provided many of the challenges.

After a tiring day of competition, awards were presented, with special thanks to event sponsors – Morson International and Colas Rail.

The ‘Best Team Name Award’ went Abellio Scotrail for ‘Some like it Scot’, presented by Christine Fernandes, Business Development, CAF Rail and Women in Rail London Group.

‘The Railway Children Charity Challenge Award’, judged and presented by the charity’s Events Manager Katie Mason was won by ‘Dexter’s Rogue Squad’ from Direct Rail Services. Teams were challenged to create a promotional music video for the charity using a variety of objects or ‘junk’ which many street children collect to make money for food, shelter or protection.

The Railway Benefit Fund’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ challenge was awarded to the team which showed the ability to laugh at the toughest times, whilst still achieving their goal. Arriva Rail London was judged to be the winner by Emma Keene, Railway Benefit Fund Fundraising and Marketing Officer.

‘The Collaborative Teamwork Award’ winner was ‘Southeastern TRACK-tion’ from Southeastern Railway for displaying outstanding teamwork and motivational support and was presented by Roxana Lupascu, Assistant Project Manager, on behalf of Challenge Sponsors, Colas Rail.

And finally, the most coveted trophy of the day ‘The Team of the Year Award’ for achieving the highest overall score with an impressive 274.5 out of a possible 300, went to ‘Chew Chew Bakka Bakka’ from SCS Railways. The 2019 winner’s trophy was presented by Jeff Marshall, Executive Manager from Key Challenge Sponsors, Morson International.


The official images from the event are now live on The Big Rail Diversity Challenge website: – and bookings are already open for #BigRail2020! Add Thursday 25th June 2020 to your diary and we hope to see you there!

Thank you to all our 2019 attending teams, including:

Abellio ScotRail Ltd, AEGIS Engineering Systems Ltd, Angel Trains, Arriva Rail London, Arup, Balfour Beatty Rail Limited, Bombardier Transportation, CAF, Colas Rail Limited, Direct Rail Services Ltd, First Group Plc, Freightliner Group Limited, Ground Control Limited, Heathrow Express, High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, Knorr-Bremse Rail System (UK) Ltd, McGinleys Support Services, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd, Morson Group, Mott MacDonald, MTR Crossrail, National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), Network Certification Body, Network Rail, Porterbrook, Railway Industry Association, RSS Infrastructure, Rail Safety and Standards Board, S&C North Alliance (AmeySersa), SCS Railways, Serco Ltd, Siemens – NTAR, Siemens Mobility Limited, Siemens Rail Electrification, SMBC Leasing (UK) Limited, Southeastern Railway, Thales Ground Transportation Systems, Transport For London, TSP Projects, Virgin Trains, VolkerRail, XC Trains Ltd (Cross Country Trains) and Young Rail Professionals.


2019 Testimonials:

BRDC is the ideal ”day out of the office” type of event, bringing everyone together to take part in a challenge in which everyone is a winner. We laugh, bond, exercise and increase our network.

Roxana Lupascu, Assistant Project Manager, Colas Rail

Thanks to all the team at Nimble Media for their fantastic efforts in pulling together the 2019 Rail Big Diversity Challenge. The day was a huge success and a big push towards the continued improvement of gender diversity in the rail industry.

Helen Hasse, Risktec Solutions Limited

A fabulous way to promote and celebrate diversity in our industry, met some great people and challenges had some real team building benefits

James Room, Rail Manager, Morson International

A fantastic, fun-filled day guaranteed to make positive memories with your colleagues that you will treasure forever.

Geoff Lowdell, Skills Analyst, The National Skills Academy for Rail

I have worked in the industry for 30+ years and it is definitely the best cross industry event I have been part of.

Carol Jenkins, PA to Chief Operating Officer, ScotRail

Highlight of the year! A fantastic and well organised event, celebrating everything great about the rail industry.

Roisin Naughton, Young Rail Professionals

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