Jointly organised by the Midlands Engine and the Rail Alliance – “Promoting Global Excellence in Rail” was held at UK rail exhibition, Railtex (one of the UK’s leading rail industry trade shows) and delivered a clear message that the Midlands region is the place to do business.
With its reputation for attracting the international rail business community, Railtex provided an ideal opportunity for the Midlands Engine to reach out to a captive and engaged audience interested in finding out more about what the region offers – both in terms of rail expertise and technologies in as well as the opportunities to establish business operations in the area.
Home to the largest rail cluster in the UK, and in recent years, undergoing unprecedented levels of investment in rail infrastructure (with plans set to continue for many years, particularly in light of HS2), the Midlands region is experiencing a steep growth of business in the rail sector. ‘Connecting the Midlands through maximising new technologies to deliver a radical transformation of the Midlands transport network’ is one of the five priority areas highlighted by the Midlands Engine to ensure the Midlands drives the UK economy. It is recognised as a crucial element of the UK’s industrial strategy to bolster the economy through investment in rail – not only in the infrastructure to aid connectivity but in the skills and supply chain that is necessary to deliver it.
With a strong speaker line-up at the event that included Adrian Shooter, CEO Vivarail, Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager/Specialist, HS2 Ltd, Toby Rackliff, Strategic Rail Policy Lead, West Midlands Rail Executive, Mark Goldby, Midlands Engine/ Advanced Manufacturing Specialist, Dept. for International Trade, Alex Burrows, Managing Director, BCRRE & Rail Alliance – the Midlands was showcased through many different lenses and viewpoints promoting its importance as a UK growth area with a particular strength in all things rail.
Marta Garcia, Head of Market Intelligence, Mafex (Spanish Railway Association), one of the delegates attending the event said, “It was a great pleasure to attend this event. We were able to learn so much about the opportunities in the Midlands region as well as connecting with key figures in the sector. We see the UK as a reference country in railway development, and of course, implementing new models of sustainable transport through investing in R&D and Innovation. Railtex is a great example of the representation of the whole value chain in the UK, and Rail Alliance plays a key role by connecting all the players worldwide”.
Mark Goldby, Midlands Engine/Department of International Trade concluded the event by saying, “The Midlands Region offers an unrivalled opportunity for international rail companies to be located at the heart of the UK Rail industry not to mention its excellent proximity for major future rail infrastructure projects.”