Design a Timepiece for the British Railway

Are you a designer, artist, engineer, architect or a student in these fields? Don't miss out! You have until 13 June to enter this once-in-a-lifetime competition for the design of a timepiece to be used across the British rail network.

Design Competition Challenge

It’s time for a new timepiece on the British railways system

Network Rail, working in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Design Museum, invites proposals for the design of a timepiece to display and communicate time across the UK national rail network.


– The competition is open internationally to practitioners and students within the fields of art, design, engineering and architecture.

– Collaboration is encouraged between individuals and organisations of different sizes, expertise and experience.

– The competition brief has been developed in collaboration with industry design experts including Margaret Calvert, Crispin Jones and Violetta Boxill, who will all form part of an Evaluation Panel.

– The closing date for submission of design proposals is 12:00 (BST) on Tuesday 13 June 2023.

– Up to five design entries will be shortlisted and invited to present their proposals to a panel.

– The final entry will be recognised in publicity associated with the competition and Network Rail.

"The British railway was integral to the standardisation of time across the world but unlike other countries, Britain did not implement a standard railway clock. We hope this competition will put that right with the creation of a timepiece that can be adapted for use across the whole rail network – from stations to maintenance delivery units, railway control centres to train depots.

The winning entrant will need to be an inspired design, which can be cost-effectively implemented at scale and adaptable to a wide variety of settings. This a unique opportunity to create a design that could have a highly visible and enduring legacy."

– Anthony Dewar, Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail


"An awareness of time is crucial to the experience of being in a train station. This is an extraordinary opportunity to redesign that experience. Instead of everyone being ensconced in their phones, how can we return time to its central presence in stations, with civic purpose and a strong sense of place? The Design Museum is delighted to be collaborating with Network Rail on this international competition."

– Justin McGuirk, the Design Museum Chief Curator & Director of Future Observatory

How to enter

Submit your proposal

The competition is open internationally to practitioners within the fields of art, design, engineering and/or architecture. Submissions are also welcome from students (and recent graduates) at higher education establishments who are studying these design disciplines.

The Royal Institute of British Architects

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. RIBA Competitions delivers choice, inspiration and value to clients through expertly run competitive selection processes.

Network Rail

The Network Rail's mission is to deliver a better travelling experience for the millions of passengers who use the British railway each day through good design, and to provide world-class infrastructure which considers the individual whilst connecting the nation. The Buildings and Architecture team is responsible for setting the standards, policy and long-term planning for Network Rail’s built environment, ensuring the highest design standards are attained whilst preserving and enhancing the legacy of Britain’s railway.

Background illustration by Bjoern Altmann.