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
    13 February 2018 18:30 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
  • Event Type: Technical lecture
    08 May 2018 18:30 to 19:30
    Manchester Metropolitan University - Manchester
    Those of us using trains in the north of England will be familiar with the 1980's vintage diesel rolling stock fleet, including the so-called Pacers and Sprinters. Following the delivery of new and refurbished trains the Pacers will be entirely phased out. Ian Hyde will take us through Northern’s fleet upgrade strategy and update us on progress so far.
    Industry: Railway
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