UK: Companies from across the UK’s rail industry came together at Newark Showground on June 19 to take part in this year’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge.

The event is organised by Women in Rail to promote the message that diverse teams work better together through a variety of physical, mental, and skill-based challenges. First held in 2016, it has since grown by around 80%, and is now an established part of the UK rail industry calendar. The event is supported by many companies and industry bodies, including the British Transport Police and the Railway Benefit Fund.

Participants at the 2024 event engaged in a range of activities designed to test communication and teamwork skills, such as the Catwalk Challenge, Human Table Football, and Shelter Building. Team activities included the ‘Diversity Sports Day’ and the ‘Bring on the Beans’ challenge.


‘The Team of the Year Award’ went to 3Squared RailSmarties from 3Squared Ltd.

Among the awards, ‘Best Team Name’ was won by East Midlands Railway for its team ‘Beast Midlands Railway’; this was presented by Rebecca Holding, Managing Director of First Rail Consultancy, representing the 2024 sponsors. The British Transport Police’s ‘Diversity Sports Day Award’ was won by ‘Eat, Sleep, RIA, Repeat’ from the Railway Industry Association.

For the best teamwork on the Railway Children’s ‘Shelter Building’ Challenge, the ‘Shelter Building Award’ was given to ‘Tough Shunts’ from East Midlands Railway. The Railway Benefit Fund’s ‘Bring on the Beans Award’ was presented to ‘Worldline Warriors’ from Worldline UK&I.


The Railway Benefit Fund’s ‘Bring on the Beans Award’ was presented to ‘Worldline Warriors’ from Worldline UK&I.

The ‘Most Collaborative Teamwork’ award was judged on performance across two challeges, with 3Squared Ltd being named the winner. That company’s ‘3Squared RailSmarties’ carried off the ‘Team of the Year’ award for achieving the highest overall score.

‘The Big Rail Diversity Challenge continues to grow as a must-attend event for the industry’, said Marie Daly, Chair of Women in Rail. ‘As one of our flagship events, BRDC highlights the key values of Women in Rail. It provides a front-line platform to raise the profile of EDI and the sector’s commitment to improving diversity across its workforce at all levels. Our strapline — Better for People, Better for Business, Better for Rail — perfectly describes the event, and I want to thank everyone who has supported and actively demonstrated this message today.’