News & Case Studies

8 May 2019

The Midlands is the Place to be for Rail Business Investment

The Midlands Engine supported by the Rail Alliance BCRRE are hosting an event at Railtex 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham on Wednesday 15 March – “Promoting Global Excellence in Rail” which will showcase the region’s growing rail cluster and why companies are choosing to base operating and manufacturing facilities in the Midlands Region. 

Speakers include Adrian Shooter, Chairman (Vivarail), Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Team Lead,(HS2),  Wendy Richards Deputy Head of Transport Infrastructure at Department for International Trade (DIT), Alex Burrows, Managing Director (BCRRE and Rail Alliance), Mark Goldby (Advanced Manufacturing Specialist for the Midlands Engine) and Toby Rackcliff Strategic Lead, (Transport for the West Midlands).

Stretching from Derbyshire to Warwickshire, with the most of the major UK railway lines running through it, the Midlands sits at the very heart of the UK economy. Home to over 10 million people, 20 universities and 440,000 businesses, it is the largest UK economic area outside of London and the South East, with an annual economic value-added figure of over £200 billion, and the first stopping point of the flagship HS2 Programme.

The Midlands Engine brings together local councils, combined authorities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), universities and businesses across the region, actively working with the government to create the right skills, infrastructure and innovation to bring investment, growth and employment to the region. It is ultimately about making the Midlands a powerful engine for economic growth.

The UK rail industry is a growing market with over £200 billion worth of rail and infrastructure opportunities and the Midlands is seeing a lot of rail focused businesses being drawn to the region. Mark Goldby, Rail Specialist for the Midlands Engine explains why rail businesses are investing in the Midlands, “The region is at the heart of new UK rail projects including the £55bn HS2 rail network, mainline electrification, station redevelopments and extensions to light railway networks, along with the expansion of rail freight infrastructure. It is also an important centre for the development and deployment of new rail propulsion systems such as hydrogen and battery power. The Midlands, given its location and strong rail cluster, is the ideal location in the UK to invest in.”

Organisations wishing to attend this event to find out more (limited spaces), please register your interest here:


– Ends –

Notes to Editors: The Midlands Engine is the heartbeat of Britain’s economy. The Midlands Engine is a coalition of Councils, Combined Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), Universities and businesses across the region, actively working with Government to build a collective identity, to enable us to present the Midlands as a competitive and compelling offer that is attractive at home and overseas. Our partnership is about additionality, complementing the work of our partners to generate added value, at scale – right across the Midlands.

Home to over 10 million people and 800,000 large and small businesses, the Midlands has huge potential and the Partnership is focused on its global success – and this in turn will deliver an enhanced quality of life for our citizens and communities.


Rail Alliance BCRRE: The Rail Alliance is now part of Birmingham Centre of Rail Research and Education (BCRRE) – an integration which aims to strengthen links between the two organisations and build on connections with the wider railway sector. Not only will this ensure that research and teaching draws on real-world situations, it will further reinforce relationships with SMEs for the benefit of the railway supply chain.


As the rail sectors largest dedicated B2B rail community organisation, the Rail Alliance is all about bringing customers, suppliers and supply chain opportunities together. Its broad spectrum of members extends way beyond rail and positions the Rail Alliance as the go-to organisation for B2B diversity, ingenuity and innovation.


For any press enquiries contact Eli on 01789 720026

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