Welcome to the Railway Division North Western Centre

The North Western Centre of the Railway Division of the IMechE is the learned society for joined up railway engineering and bases its activities in Manchester and the surrounding area, drawing on and fostering links with local industry, train operators, academic institutions and sister professional organisations, including the ICE, IET, IRSE and PWI. We are committed to providing support for members of the Railway Division in this region mainly through a programme of interesting and informative lectures and through this and other activities we aim to provide members with the skills, knowledge, support and development advice they need at every stage of their career.

Lectures on a variety of topics are normally given on the 2nd Tuesday in the month (but please check the Events Diary below for details) at 18:30 (sandwiches available from 18:00) at Manchester Metropolitan University on Oxford Road (close to Oxford Road railway station) in the centre of Manchester. We also have an annual Young Members’ evening at which younger Engineers present papers on current projects and the Railway Division Chairman’s Address usually takes place at the October event. The December lecture traditionally features an item on the engineering heritage aspect of the railway.

We also arrange visits to relevant railway locations (for example recent visits to Stockport Signalling Centre and Piccadilly Station).

Members and guests are always welcome at our lectures and events (visits usually need prior registration, lectures do not) and anyone interested in joining our active committee should contact me.

You can now find out more about our activities and news about railway engineering in the North West on Facebook here:


Let us know if you come across anything that you think may be of interest to the North West's Railway Engineering community and worth putting on our Facebook site.

We also have a Twitter account: @IMechE_NWRD

Matthew Hack


Current and Future Events

Please click the event heading for further information.
  • Event Type: Technical lecture
    12 December 2017 18:30 to 19:30
    Manchester Metropolitan University - Manchester
    The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. The builders of the new main line steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, have set themselves the challenge to develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use. David Elliott will explain the background to the project and what progress has been made so far.
    Industry: Railway
  • Event Type: Technical lecture
    09 January 2018 18:30 to 19:30
    Alstom Transport Training Academy - Widnes
    On 29th June 2017 Alstom’s Widnes centre for train modernisation was opened by Lord Prior of Brampton. In a major boost to the rail industry in the North West, this 13,000 square metre facility will be the largest of its type in the UK. Alstom is starting work on the contract to re-paint the 56-strong fleet of Class 390 Pendolino trains and Mike Hulme will describe the project to bring the new facility to the North West and provide an outline of the painting programme.
    Industry: Railway
  • Event Type: Technical lecture
    13 February 2018 19:30 to 19:30
    Manchester Metropolitan University - Manchester
    Project Team Engineer Magda Olczak, from Loram UK (formerly RVEL), will be presenting how her team has been developing the upgrade to the Class 73 in Derby to make these already useful locomotives suitable for 21st century traction requirements. Magda will review the design, build and testing processes, focusing on the challenges the team has met along the way and the lessons learnt.
    Industry: Railway
  • Event Type: Competition event
    13 March 2018 18:30 to 19:30
    Manchester Metropolitan University - Manchester
    Each year the Railway Division holds a competition for the best technical presentations by Engineers in the early stages of their careers, with a first prize of £1000. Regional heats are followed by a final held in London. The North Western Centre AGM takes place on the same evening and offers of assistance for the committee are welcome.
    Industry: Railway
  • Event Type: Technical lecture
    10 April 2018 18:30 to 19:30
    University Technical College - Crewe
    While the safety record of the railway industry has been improving consistently over many years, there is no room for complacency.  Simon Kay will highlight some thought provoking precursors to past railway accidents.
    Industry: Railway
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