A record 620 delegates from across the UK rail sector attended the fourth Big Rail Diversity Challenge at Newark Showground on Thursday, 27 June 2019. 

The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is charity Women in Rail’s annual flagship event designed to highlight the benefits of gender balance and diversity in the industry.

Delegates took part in a plethora of physically and mentally demanding challenges – including Build a Scarecrow, Haka and It’s a Knockout! – aiming to show that gender diverse teams work better together; and to raise the awareness of the business benefits when companies improve their male:female worker ratio. 

“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important step in the rail industry agenda. It openly seeks to disprove one of the most destructive myths in professional life: that women and men cannot work effectively together. By engaging both men and women in equal measure, we have started to tackle gender imbalance head-on and create a more attractive, productive and successful industry in the process,” comments Adeline Ginn, Founder of Women in Rail. 

Members of the British Transport Police, RAF, British Army Royal Engineers, alongside rail industry charities Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children, provided many of the challenges.

After a tiring day of competition, awards were presented, with special thanks to event sponsors – Morson International and Colas Rail. 



  • 1
    Chew Chew Bakka Bakka
    Chew Chew Bakka Bakka
    Score: 274.5
  • 2
    Genesee Giants
    Genesee Giants
    Score: 272.5
  • 3
    Noughts & Crossings
    Noughts & Crossings
    Score: 271
  • 4
    Dexter's Rogue Squad
    Dexter's Rogue Squad
    Score: 269
  • 5
    Los Españoles
    Los Españoles
    Score: 264
  • 6
    Score: 262
  • 7
    McGinley Mavericks
    McGinley Mavericks
    Score: 258
  • 8
    Born to XC'D
    Born to XC'D
    Score: 253.5
  • 9
    Mean Machine
    Mean Machine
    Score: 251.5
  • 10
    Great British Brake Off
    Great British Brake Off
    Score: 251.5
  • View All Scores



  • The Big Rail Diversity is an amazing event & one I have to fight with colleagues to get a place because we all love taking part, I have met some amazing people on every occasion and the event coordinators are amazing people who go out of their way to make sure every issue is sorted with relative fuss. It’s an absolute honour to be a part of something that not only promotes Equality & Diversity but also promotes being fun at work, as sometimes working in such a serious discipline it’s easy to get bogged down by the pressures, this is a way for us to connect as a team & have that fun we sometimes crave.

    Vikky Goodwin
  • It was a fantastic, fun and challenging day. I learnt a lot about myself, what I can achieve with encouragement and sheer determination, even when feeling exhausted.

    Vicky Badham-May, Driver
    MTR Crossrail
  • A really enjoyable day, full of amazing networking and a brilliant diverse mixture of talent from the Rail industry.

    Verity Olive, Project Engineer, Balfour Beatty Rail
  • We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to you and everyone who organised the fantastic Big Rail Diversity Challenge. We all had a superb experience. The biggest compliment to you and your team I think was even though I was full of aches and pains on an early shift on the Platform on Friday, when a colleague asked how it went my response was “if I got a call today to do it all again tomorrow, I would be booking my tickets and I think most of my teammates would say the same. So, a HUGE thank you from everyone, I look forward to next year’s event, but think there will be a lot more people volunteering when they here of our experience.” – “As a 55-year-old male I approached the day with caution, but as it went on, I threw myself into every event with the enthusiasm of a teenager. LOVED IT.

    Tony Brindley, Customer Service
    MTR Crossrail
  • The day was fantastic, well organised and good fun I would recommend people take part in next year’s event. A really fun day.

    Tanja Chevalier, Community Engagement Executive Projects and Events
    High Speed Two
  • Loved it!! Laughed all day!

    Sue Moore, PA to Directors
    RSS Infrastructure
  • The best day at ‘work’ you’ll have!

    Stephanie Tyson, Project Manager
  • A well-organised event – full of energy.

  • Great inclusive event for all.

    Robert Lewis, Project Contracts Manager
  • The Big Rail Diversity Challenge was an excellent opportunity to meet people from other sectors of the industry in a fun and competitive environment. I’d definitely do it again.

    Rishi Parwani, Research Analyst
  • It was a fantastic event, with lots of enthusiastic teamwork, as well as some healthy competition. The day was an ideal opportunity to connect with colleagues and it was great to see so many companies coming together to celebrate diversity across the railway.

    Natalie Sparrow, Colleague Engagement and Inclusion Manager
    Southeastern Railway
  • A fun packed day with challenges to suit every member of our team. I struck up friendships with new colleagues I hadn’t even met yet, and probably wouldn’t had it not been for this.

    Natalie Adams, Client Account Manager
    SNC Lavalin
  • Great event which was well organised with opportunities to network with a diverse range of people.

    Naomi Blissett, Apprentice
    High Speed Two
  • Fantastic day last week, the event is getting bigger and better every year. Well done to you and the team.

    Maria Clark, Engineer, Amey
  • This was our first time putting a team together for the Big Rail Diversity Challenge. We had colleagues from site and office and although a number of us talk to our site staff via phone or email this was the first chance, we got to meet face to face and bond which the day really helped us to do and work as a team and support one another. We all had a fantastic day and can’t wait to do it again! Although inflatable sports are a lot harder that they look!! Thanks for a great day – so well organised!!

    Kimberley McGinty, Skills and Employment Advisor
    The VGC Group
  • I enjoyed the diversity of the tasks and working with people I don’t usually work with in the office.

    Kathryn Wales, Projects Engineer
    Colas Rail
  • Fantastic day out, promoting a brilliant cause. Fun, friendly environment which is a very worthwhile visit

    John Gosney, Graduate Technical Engineer
    Colas Rail
  • A fun day out with work colleagues. A good mix of physical and problem-solving activities, with an overall positive message of promoting diversity in the rail industry.

    Joe Dodgson, Track Design Engineer
  • We had 9 people in the team and in a lot of the events, not every member got an opportunity to participate. All of the sporty ones were fine, it is the other ones like safecracker and catapult challenge.

    Irina Smith, Senior Commercial Manager
    Morgan Sindall
  • Great day enjoyed by all promoting a very worthy cause.

    Graham Shaw, Business Development Manager
  • Absolutely fabulous event and exceeded every expectation that I had. A great chance to meet new people and honestly couldn’t have had a better day! Bring on next year!

    Grace Hayward, Assistant Project Manager
    Colas Rail
  • It was a tremendous experience and a very productive day with many challenges.

    Geetha Sathi, Electrical Engineer
  • The Big Rail Diversity Challenge was the one of the best days of my career so far! The teamwork and communication required meant for a brilliant, constructive day with colleagues, as well as it is being extremely fun and a great networking event with all of the other companies in the room. It was absolutely incredible to see such diversity at the event and the value added as a result. A very well run-day and brilliant opportunity which I would encouraging everyone to get involved with!

    Fran Palmer, Business Continuity & HSW Strategy Director
    Skanska, Costain and STRABAG (SCS)
  • I would like to say what a fantastic day we at East Midlands Trains had. We made new friends but most of all we bonded as a team. The event that you put on was fantastic so well planned and organised with the main theme of having fun so well done.

    Darren Field-Thomas, Business Continuity Manager
    East Midlands Trains
  • Team Exciting challenges and great fun, can’t wait for next year!

    Corrine Binks
    Morgan Sindall
  • This was the first time I had the pleasure of attending this event. I have to say it was the most fun I have had in a very long time. We didn’t stop laughing all day. Would recommend this event to all and I am hoping I can get onto it again next year.

    Carla Roberts, Container Control, Pentalver Cannock
    G&W UK/Europe Region
  • It was a tough but fun day. I really enjoyed being part of a diverse team and competing in a fun friendly environment. We were able to win some of the challenges due to great teamwork and diverse skillsets!

    Ashraf Nsubuga
    Young Rail Professionals
  • A fantastic event that allowed all members of our very mixed ability and age team to shine, bond and have fun whilst supporting a very worthy cause.

    James Room, Divisional Manager
    Morson Group


Becoming a ‘Big Rail Diversity Challenge’ sponsor allows your company to promote its support of Women in Rail and its values, encourage diversity and promote initiatives aimed at positioning rail as an attractive career choice for young people.