The Rail Alliance is well known for its ability to adapt and adjust in response to industry needs and demands, and 6 months ago this is exactly what we did.
Following the integration with the University of Birmingham, the Rail Alliance is now a key part of the Birmingham Centre of Railway Research and Education (BCRRE). Organisations looking to grow their business in rail can now take advantage of access to business support and in addition have a direct route into the world-leading specialist railway research, education and innovation capabilities as well as practical test and trial facilities.
Last week, Railtex at the NEC provided the perfect opportunity to fully demonstrate this new combined offer. Visitors and exhibitors attending Railtex were able to meet the team face-to-face and find out more about what this means for their business. There was an impressive 165 Rail Alliance members companies exhibiting at Railtex this year out of the total 270 – a statement of the support from the sector as well as proving that the Rail Alliance is well on track with the radical new business model it now has in place. This was confirmed with the sign up of our 500th member of the new Rail Alliance Community.
Always popular, the Rail Alliance Community Breakfast Meeting held before doors opened to the show on Wednesday 15 May attracted close to 80 companies tempted by the good coffee, tasty bacon butties and pastries not to mention a roomful of excellent networking opportunities. There was a powerful mix of organisations spanning the whole supply chain, resulting in lively and dynamic conversation. We were delighted to welcome the Spanish Trade Association, Mafex who also attended with Talgo in addition to organisations such as Network Rail, Siemens and Knorr-Bremse.
Alex Burrows, Managing Director of the Rail Alliance and BCRRE expressed his delight at the positive response to the recent changes, saying,
“It has been an exciting few months for the Rail Alliance and BCRRE team. The combination of our expanded team, the calendar of networking events, and our growing international networks is a great step forward. Now that companies no longer have to pay to join the Rail Alliance, this has created a deluge of enquiries and applications from companies who want to be part of this thriving community.
Signing our 500th Rail Alliance Community member at Railtex was an absolute highlight and we are so pleased to welcome innovative battery and energy storage solution company Hoppecke”
Rail Live is the next big event in the calendar with lots of activities and news announcements planned including the launch of the UKs first hydrogen train – Hydroflex (in collaboration with Porterbrook), a seminar with Alex Burrows and the Rail Alliance team, DIGI RAIL workshop, a dinner in conjunction with Network Rail’s Rail Plant Awards in addition to a range of innovation themed activities involving SMEs in the Rail Alliance community.
For more information on the Rail Alliance go to www.railalliance.co.uk