The annual Railway Technical Tour (RTT) of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
provides an excellent opportunity for new graduates, mid-career and experienced engineers to study technologies
and operations of railways internationally. Past Technical Tours have taken participants to Austria, Belgium,
Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Malaysia and Singapore. The most recent Tour, in autumn 2018, visited railway manufacturers and undertakings in Northern Italy and Switzerland. The Tour normally includes visits to a range of rolling stock and infrastructure system manufacturers, workshops, depots and train operations. Participants benefit greatly from studying operations that use different practices and technologies in other political, economic and environmental contexts. Feedback about the Tour from participants (and hosts) is always very positive.
The main benefits of attending a Railway Technical Tour are the personal professional development and the
acquisition of knowledge and knowhow that is of relevance to employers and the UK railway industry in general:
Knowledge of different technologies, systems, processes and management approaches;
Intensive contacts with international railway engineers and operators;
Knowledge of railway networks in different countries and contexts;
Exposure to different cultures.
Other important benefits are new personal and professional relationships and learning from experienced engineers.
NEW FOR 2019: Up to four places will be available on a ‘split’ basis, i.e., with attendance either from Prague to
Vienna or from Vienna to Zürich.
Railway Technical Tour 2019, Saturday 5 October to Saturday 12 October 2019
The Technical Tour 2019 will start in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, 5 October 2019, around lunch time. In
the afternoon, we shall visit a workshop of Czech Railways (CD). The evening is free to explore Prague Castle and
the Old Town, or even go to a concert. On Sunday, 6 October 2019, we undertake a sightseeing trip on board a
historic tram and visit the very attractive public transport museum of Prague, as well as an active tram depot.
Eversholt Rail Group will be inviting the delegates for a dinner near Prague Castle.
On Monday, 7 October 2019, we shall visit the Skoda rolling stock manufacturing plant in Pilsen and, in the
afternoon, the public transport network of Olomouc in Moravia. In the morning of Tuesday, 8 October 2019, we
undertake a short journey by train to Prostejov, where the delegates visit the switch and crossing manufacturing
plant of DT Výhybkárna a strojírna, a.s., a collaborator on the European S-Code project. The company produces
turnouts for main line railways and tramways. On the same day we continue by train via Brno to Vienna, where we
stay for two nights.
Wednesday, 9 October 2019, is devoted to the public transport system of Vienna, including metro, tram and suburban light rail, namely, the Wien-Baden Railway. This will include a visit to a workshop and an operations centre. The participants will also get an opportunity to visit Traktionssysteme Austria, a major manufacturer of high-performance electric traction machines, including permanent magnet designs.
On Wednesday, 10 October 2019, the group will transfer by train to Linz for a visit to the track plant factory of
Plasser and Theurer, where the company produces a wide range of equipment, including track re-laying trains,
tampers, dynamic track stabilisers and ballast cleaners. This promises to be one of the highlights of the 2019
Technical Tour. The afternoon is free to explore the 900 mm gauge tramway network and the Pöstlingbergbahn,
which is adhesion-worked with a maximum gradient of 11.6%, i.e., a little bit steeper than 1:9.
At 22:58, the delegates will board the comfortable Nightjet sleeper train bound for Zürich. On Friday, 11 October
2019, they will alight in Buchs, Switzerland, to change to a local train to Altenrhein, where they will visit the
Stadler factory, based in a former sea-plane factory. The Tour continues with visits to the Rheineck-Walzenhausen
and Rorschach-Heiden rack and pinion railways and the maintenance facility in Heiden, before travelling to
Romanshorn for the final overnight stay. Angel Trains will sponsor the closing dinner. On Saturday morning, 12
October 2019, it is the turn of the newly united and upgraded Appenzellerbahn, with its new tunnel. The Tour will
finish with a train ride to Herisau via Appenzell. Arrival in Zürich HB is expected to be around 14:00.
PLEASE NOTE: All participants are expected to own, carry along and use protective footwear and a railway
approved high-visibility jacket (orange) during ALL visits. Delegates are advised to minimise luggage because the
tour involves transfers by foot of up to 20 minutes. Pictures are from the 2018 Tour and a Prague visit.
Cost of the Railway Technical Tour 2019
The cost of the IMechE Railway Technical Tour 2019, at the current depressed exchange rate, will be £970 per
person sharing accommodation in twin / double rooms, with a £230 supplement for single rooms in hotels, but
sharing in the sleeper train. This includes all travel from Prague to Zürich. Options for travel from the UK to
Prague by rail or air and return from Zürich to the UK can be costed by Ffestiniog Travel individually. A £200
discount is available for participants with less than five years of professional experience in the railway industry.
Young members of the IMechE can apply for a grant that covers 50% of the cost. Further information on the James
Bates Grant for young members of the IMechE is available from the IMechE Young Members Committee.
Please contact Felix Schmid if you are interested in joining the Tour on a split basis.
Further Information about the Railway Technical Tour 2019
The 2019 Railway Technical Tour is organised and led by Gianluca Bush, Bridget Eickhoff and Felix Schmid. For
further details and any other information, please contact the team through firstname.lastname@example.org or through
Felix Schmid (email@example.com).
Bookings are taken by Ffestiniog Travel, our partners for the Railway Technical Tour 2019. The website can be
found at: https://www.ffestiniogtravel.com/tailor-made/europe/imeche-railway-technical-tour-2019