The Big Rail Diversity Challenge, superbly organised by Nimble Media Limited for Women in Rail, welcomed 570 delegates from across the UK railway sector, arranged in 56 gender balanced and diverse teams, for a day of intense competition in a wide range of skill-based, physically and mentally demanding challenges – including Pitch Perfect!, Blindfolded Face Painting, Archery and Knocked Out! – demonstrating that diverse teams work better together.

The Big Rail Diversity Challenge has truly captured the hearts and minds of the industry – which demonstrates the passion, support and enthusiasm for the brilliant work that Women in Rail undertakes.

The event has grown by a staggering 75% since its launch just two years ago, proving that the industry is serious about improving gender diversity.

A cross between “It’s a Knockout” and “Krypton Factor”, The Big Rail Diversity Challenge provides participants with an opportunity to network, team build and fundraise for Women in Rail whilst undertaking fun gender balanced team challenges.

Following feedback discussions after last year’s event, challenges were developed to accommodate people with disabilities and special requirements to ensure it is as inclusive as possible.

“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important step in the rail industry agenda. It openly tackles rail’s outdated image, demonstrates that the industry engages both men and women in equal measure and shows our sector’s commitment to improving gender balance, diversity and inclusion in order to create a more attractive, productive and successful workforce,” said Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail.


Support came in all forms, with members of the British Transport Police, Royal Air Force, British Army Royal Engineers and rail industry charities such as Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children, providing challenges which saw teams negotiate inflatable obstacle courses with a cup of polystyrene beans, create street art and engineer their own catapult.

This year, the Big Rail Diversity Challenge was opened by Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains and trustee of the Women in Rail charity. Malcolm commented: “What a truly inspirational event the Big Rail Diversity Challenge is, to see so many colleagues from the industry there, working together, enjoying themselves. I would encourage all organisations and individuals to get involved in this and other Women in Rail events.”

This was followed by all 570 attendees participating in a quick-fire Zumba warm-up with live music delivered by the Top Banana Band, all the teams throwing their shapes and putting their Latin-style dance moves to the test before heading off to complete their 14 challenges.

New initiatives for 2018 included a Tuck Shop and raffle which raised £720.00 for the Women in Rail charity.

After a tiring day of competition, the time came for the awards presentations. Acknowledgement was paid by Women in Rail to Nimble Media for again organising a fantastic event, all the volunteers who helped on the day and to all the teams who took part. Special thanks went to Morson Group, Paystream and Colas Rail as 2018 sponsors and to Adeline Ginn, for her passion and determination to improve the gender balance, diversity and inclusion within the UK rail industry.

Five awards were presented. 

The Women in Rail Collaborative Teamwork Award”, rewarding the team who worked the most efficiently and effectively together throughout the day, displaying outstanding teamwork, motivation and support for each other, went to the “Orange is the New Track” team, representing Arcadis. It was handed over by Rachel Storey from Direct Rail Services and Steering Committee Member of the Women in Rail North West Regional Group.

The “Best Team Name Award”, judged ahead of the event by Adeline Ginn and the Women in Rail team, went to RSSB for the imaginative “Rarely Sane, Seldom Bored” team name. It was presented by Marta Gasch Bielsa representing event sponsor, Colas.

Supporting charities Railway Children and Railway Benefit Fund each presented an award. Katie Mason, Events Manager at Railway Children delivered a dedicated teamwork award to TSP Projects. Faye Jacques, Fundraising Manager at Railway Benefit Fund, rewarded Amey’s “Noughts and Crossings” for showing the ability to laugh at the toughest times, whilst still achieving their goal – echoing the RBF message.

The most coveted trophy of the day, “The Team of the Year Award”, went to “Off the Rails”, a joint venture between Bombardier and TfL for the highest overall score. They reached an amazing 279 out of a possible 300 available points. The award was presented by James Room from Morson International, 2018 Key Challenge Sponsor.

If you need more help in planning your event, then speak with a member of the Nimble Media team today.

With a tried and tested supplier network, we manage all logistics ensuring your event happens in line with your vision and values, delivering a compelling service to get your event talked about and well attended.

We look forward to getting ridiculously creative with you!


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