Click below to read a summary of the Railways project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here.
Investigate cliff railways and test water controls
Cliff railways work because gravity pulls one car down a slope, and that car pulls the other one up. The cliff railways at Lynton and Folkestone use water to control the speed and braking. Have a look at www.cat.org.uk for a factsheet on how the cliff railway at the Centre for Alternative Technology works.
Investigate air conditioning systems used on trains
Air conditioning controls temperature, humidity, air-flow, and air cleanliness. This project is to find out how much air cooling is needed on a train. Public transport systems put a lot of people together in an enclosed space. People generate heat, making the interior hot and uncomfortable in the summer. It‟s worse if the system is underground as there‟s not much air flow to provide any cooling from the outside. Air conditioning, then, is important for the comfort of everyone, especially the driver.
Convert a standard model train into a mountain railway model
Design a model mountain railway and convert a train to run on it. Modifications may have to be made to the engine, carriages and track and this will involve some practical engineering as well as testing existing systems and designing the modifications. You will need to discover how real mountain railways work.