Students from across the state will have the chance to pitch their ideas on the future of public transport in regional Victoria with the expansion of the Regional Rail Revival Design Challenge 2050 competition.

After a successful pilot program in the Bendigo region last year, this year’s Design Challenge has been expanded to primary and secondary schools in the Ballarat, Gippsland and Geelong regions.

A team-based competition for students from years 4 to 10, the Design Challenge encourages students to develop innovative design ideas for the future of rail travel in response to the question: What does the smart and connected city of 2050 look like?

Students have the chance to be creative as they explore ways to better the experience of train travel, improve the way passengers get around a station, and use smart and sustainable technology for a more enjoyable journey.

The most innovative design ideas will be shortlisted, with students explaining their concepts to a panel of rail experts from Rail Projects Victoria and competing to win prizes for themselves and their schools.

The winners of the inaugural challenge in 2020 – a group of students in Years 7 and 8 from Bendigo South East College – pitched the concept of using augmented reality to educate train travellers about the indigenous and historical landmarks on their train journey.

Schools and students are supported during the challenge through a series of guided learning hours and mentoring workshops, with regional tech schools helping teams to develop their ideas and learn more about the rail industry.

Bendigo Tech School, Ballarat Tech School, Gippsland Tech School and Geelong Tech School are part of the 11 tech schools funded across the state, as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to the Education State of Victoria.

Schools are asked to register teams in term three and the competition takes place throughout term four and will be exclusively online.

Students use skills across a number of subjects including engineering, science, mathematics, visual arts, visual communication and design, and learn about major rail projects in their regions and the benefits these projects will deliver to their local communities.

Registrations are now open, with more information available at

Work on the Gippsland Line Upgrade’s major upgrades between Pakenham and Traralgon is progressing, with site establishment underway at key sites along the line as construction ramps up to enable more frequent and reliable services.

The Gippsland Line Upgrade has already delivered benefits, with level crossing upgrades allowing modern VLocity trains to run to Bairnsdale for the first time and trains travelling at higher speeds over the new Avon River rail bridge.

The Regional Rail Revival Design Challenge 2050 continues Rail Projects Victoria’s commitment to education, building on the success of last year’s challenge and the Minecraft Mini Melbourne as part of the Metro Tunnel Education Program.

Quotes attributable to Jane Garrett, Member for Eastern Victoria

“This is a great opportunity for students across the state to be inventive and tell us their ideas for how they see public transport in their region in the future.”

“We are excited to be able to expand the competition this year and provide more students across regional Victoria the chance to participate, win some fantastic prizes and learn more about our Reginal Rail Revival projects.”