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Solar Railways Challenge

Solar Railways Train

The SRC is a project where students adopt a regional community, analyse the energy, transportation and communications requirements of that community and design an Elongated Solar Array utilising existing rail infrastructure to creating a renewable energy solution for that community.


  • To attract students to careers in the rail industry and more broadly to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM),
  • Use the Solar Railways concept as a broad based marketing campaign to change the image of the rail industry and generate community buy-in,
  • Get the rail industry behind the Solar Railways & Solar Fast Train concept,
  • Make the rail industry “COOL” again.

Task Definition

Students work in teams of 4-6 students and are encouraged to collaborate with the community and local energy transportation authorities to examine the energy, communications and transportation requirements of the community. They are also required to collaborate with Engineers, Town Planners & Councils to:

  • Examine integration with existing electricity supply networks,
  • Examine strategies for system expandability,
  • Examine strategies for maintenance and repair,
  • Examine existing electricity pricing policies and propose changes,

With Industry to examine:

  • Different energy storage systems which complement their design,
  • The use of different voltage networks to reduce losses
  • The impact of complimentary technologies i.e. LED lighting, which would impact the design,

One of the key outcomes is for the students to calculate potential cost and ROI of their proposal.

Project Deliverables

Develop a 20-page A3 portfolio that covers the following:

  • Addresses each of the areas of the Primary & Secondary Design Considerations,
  • Describes the design and layout of your design,
  • Highlight the innovation associated with your design and layout,
  • Described the roles and responsibilities of each member of your team i.e.
  • Project Manager, Town Planner, Quantity Surveyor, Electrical Engineer, Design Engineer etc.
  • Clearly explain the advantages of the system over existing energy systems,
  • Can be used as a marketing document to sell your proposal to the community,
  • Highlights other key issues worthy of consideration by your design.

Prepare an 8-minute verbal and visual presentation on the key issues covered in your portfolio ready for presentation to a judging panel from industry, local government and the community.