IMechE Technical Tour 2023

Benefits of Attending

  • 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 environments and cultures
  • 10 days from £1,700pp

Other important benefits are new personal and professional relationships and, for newer entrants to rail, opportunities for learning from a broad spectrum of railway experts from all areas of the industry.

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Tour Dates:
Friday 5 May to Sunday 14 May 2023

Railway Technical Tour 2023 of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to Finland (Helsinki, Kajaani, Otanmäki, Tornio), Sweden (Haparanda, Umeå, Sundsvall, Kiruna) and Norway (Narvik, Oslo).

ITINERARY

Day 1

Arrive in Helsinki where we stay for 2 nights.

Day 2

The Technical Tour will start today and includes a train excursion to visit the Finnish Railway Museum in Hyvinkää to understand railway development in Finland. In the evening, after an opportunity for using the public transport network of Finland’s capital, Eversholt Rail Group invite the delegates for a welcome dinner in Helsinki.

Day 3

We will visit various sites in and around the city before we depart Helsinki after lunch, travelling on the Finnish Pendolino to Kajaani, where a buffet dinner will be provided in our hotel.

Day 4

This morning we visit the Skoda train manufacturing plant at Otanmäki before returning to Kajaani for the train journey to Oulu, continuing by coach to Tornio and crossing the border into Sweden at Haparanda for an overnight stay.

Day 5

After an early breakfast, our train leaves Haparanda and we travel to Umeå where the Swedish Infrastructure Manager Trafikverket introduces us to the implementation of ETCS on the Botniabanan, and we learn about rail operations in this remote arctic territory. We then proceed to Sundsvall to board the Polar Express night train operated by Vy (the Norwegian state operator) to Kiruna. 4 people will share a 6-berth couchette or 2 will share a sleeper compartment (subject to a supplement and availability when booking).

Day 6

On arrival in Kiruna this morning, we will be met by the mining company LKAB and taken by coach to visit the iron ore mine. Kiruna is an amazing place where much of the town has been and is being moved to allow the mining to proceed under where the town used to be! We will be escorted down the mine to the show mine which gives a very good overview of the operation. A small number of participants may be able to visit the railway in the underground area. After lunch (provided) we will visit Kiruna Wagon, where sophisticated very high axle-load rapid discharge wagons are designed and built, before transferring to our hotel for the night.

Day 7

Today we take the train from Kiruna down to the Norwegian port of Narvik. This spectacular railway also takes the trains of iron ore pellets from the mine to the ship. On arrival in Narvik we will visit the Iron Ore transfer loading station at the harbour, which is effectively still part of the mine production line. A group dinner, sponsored by Angel Trains, is planned for the evening in Narvik.

Days 8 and 9

This morning we take a coach to the airport at Evenes for our flight south to Oslo where we stay for 2 nights. We expect to visit the metro operation and a construction site of the Fornebu extension, as well as the main line railway.

Day 10

Check out of the hotel after breakfast and return home.

Note: All participants are expected to obtain, bring and use protective footwear and a railway approved high-visibility jacket (orange) during ALL visits. Delegates are advised to minimise luggage as the tour involves several transfers by foot.

Members of the party are expected to contribute £170 per person to a kitty for coach travel and incidental costs. Where specified above, lunch or dinner are provided, otherwise partici¬pants are expected to make their own arrangements.

A small number of grants of £1000 each are available for Young Members of the Railway Division and partici¬pants with less than five years of professional experience in the railway industry.

The 2023 Railway Technical Tour is being organised by Emma Armstrong, Bridget Eickhoff, Richard Lockett, Felix Schmid and Andrew Skinner, with support from Thomas Schmid and our hosts. For further details and any other information, please contact the team through railtechtour2023@gmail.com.

Selected Hotels

Scandic Simonketta, Helsinki

Original Sokos Valjus, Kajaani

Haparanda Stadshotell, Haparanda

Scandic Kiruna, Kiruna

Quality Hotel Grand Royal, Narvik

Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo

Please note - hotel can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in hotels specified on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Buffet style dinner in Kajaani
  • Rail in 2nd class on services shown
  • Flight in economy class with Norwegian Air including 23kg of checked luggage
  • 1 berth in a 6 berth couchette on sleeper train (maximum 4 people per couchette)

Price per person

Technical Tour: £1,700
Single room supplement (hotels only): £515
Deposit for this holiday: £200

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