On 22 June 2022, companies representing the UK’s rail industry came together at Newark Showground to participate in the seventh annual Big Rail Diversity Challenge.

First held in 2016, The Big Rail Diversity Challenge has truly captured the hearts and minds of the industry – demonstrating the passion, support and enthusiasm for the brilliant work that Women in Rail undertakes. Growing by a staggering 80% since its launch, The Big Rail Diversity Challenge has become a staple in the industry’s event calendar, with many key industry stakeholders supporting year on year.

As one of charity Women in Rail’s annual flagship events, The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is the only team based rail event showcasing the diversity the UK railway industry is seeking to achieve. The challenges are designed to promote the message that diverse teams work better together, with companies taking part in a series of physical, mental and skill-based sessions to include; Catwalk Challenge, The Great Diversity Bake Off, Human Table Football, River Rescue, the Mighty Quiz and Diversity Dance Off. Designed to put teams communication and teamwork skills to the test, the
challenges are developed to ensure that everyone has a role to play.

Christine Fernandes, Chair of Women in Rail and Business Development for CAF said, “The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is not just another rail event. It is a fantastic initiative that actively promotes and strengthens the awareness of diversity and inclusion within the rail industry. The event provides a unique opportunity to foster teamwork and collaboration, in a fun and interesting way – ensuring that our message and aim to promote more EDI across the sector – far outlasts the day and continues back into the workplace.”

The event is supported by many key industry bodies, organisations and charities; The British Transport Police returned for a third year to deliver the ‘Look Beyond the Obvious’ challenge -designed to support a cross industry campaign which encourages officers and rail staff to use their professional curiosity in order to safeguard people they may encounter on the rail network.

The Railway Benefit Fund had participants supporting one another through the toughest of times, blindfolded and carrying ‘beans’ through an inflatable obstacle course as part of their ‘Bring on the Beans’ challenge, whilst the Railway Children charity had teams constructing a one person shelter using basic materials that could be available to a child living on the streets.

After a tiring day of code breaking, Broadway routines, and countless inflatables, awards were presented, with special thanks to the event’s Headline Sponsor, Egis and Challenge Sponsor BTTC.

The ‘Best Team Name Award’ went to SCS Railways for ‘Euston We Have a Problem’, presented by Mat Baine, Managing Director of Egis and Trustee of the Board of Women in Rail.

The British Transport Police ‘Look Beyond The Obvious Award’, judged and presented by Rob Newman, Police Constable with the British Transport Police, was won by ‘Challenge 2 Change’ from C2C.

For creating the best shelter – and showing the best team work on the Railway Children ‘Shelter Building’ Challenge, Katie Mason, Event Manager for Railway Children presented the ‘Shelter Building Award’ to ‘CRSA Crusaders’ from Central Rail Systems Alliance.

The Railway Benefit Fund’s ‘Bring on the Beans Award’ was presented to ‘Alstom Super Stars’ of Alstom.

‘The Most Collaborative Teamwork Award’ was judged on the team performance across two of the event’s favourite challenges – It’s a Knockout and Walk the Plank. The winner was ‘Sells like Team Spirit’ from AEGIS for displaying outstanding teamwork and motivational support. This award was presented by Chair of Women in Rail and Business Development for CAF, Christine Fernandes.

And finally, the most coveted trophy of the day ‘The Team of the Year Award’ for achieving the highest overall score with an impressive 246 out of a possible 260, went to ‘Alstom Super Stars’ from Alstom. The 2022 winner’s trophy was presented by Mat Baine, Managing Director of Egis and Trustee of the Board of Women in Rail.

On the day, there was also a Charity Tuck Shop and a Hamper Raffle which helped raise over £700.00 for the Women in Rail Charity.

The official images from the event are available to view on The Big Rail Diversity Challenge website: www.bigraildiversity.co.uk

A big thank you to all the teams attending. If your company would like to join The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2023 please contact Nimble Media to secure your place.

Add 21 June 2023 to your diary and we hope to see you at #BigRail2023!