About Rail Week


In Summer 2016, a pioneering pan-industry initiative brought the rail industry in all its guises closer to schools, teachers, career advisors and students. Rail Week returns in 2017!

The inaugural Rail Week will celebrate the diverse and rewarding career opportunities available across the rail sector.

The dedicated week of activity aims to address the skills shortage in rail-related roles and inspire a generation of young people through a series of events, visits and talks. The events for people at schools, colleges and universities aim to encourage them to consider careers in our great industry. Rail Week will also include a widespread schools outreach programme, facilitating ambassadors to get into the classroom and deliver inspirational activities designed for Rail Week.

The Rail Week initiative has been the brainchild of the professional networking association Young Rail Professionals (YRP), and YRP is now urging organisations across the rail industry to get involved by pledging to host events and reach out to schools, colleges and parents in their area.

“YRP and our members know first-hand that the rail sector is a great place to work, with exciting projects to get involved in, good career prospects, and a wide range of different roles to undertake”, explains YRP Chairwoman Sabrina Ihaddaden. “Unfortunately, many children, parents and teachers don’t realise the variety of jobs and opportunities available. We hope to change this with Rail Week.”

 “By getting the whole sector involved in Rail Week, we can collectively bridge the skills gap and celebrate the great careers in rail. It is important that companies across the sector and country get involved so we can truly represent the industry.”

The initiative is already gaining momentum, with a number of industry leaders having already agreed to back Rail Week. These include Network Rail, Transport for London, the Department for Transport and the National Skills Academy for Rail.

Confirmed events for the week itself include the Railway Challenge, a competition organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers where teams of students and young professionals build a functioning locomotive, and the Next Generation Rail conference highlighting innovation across the sector. Meanwhile, preparations are ongoing behind the scenes for a major launch event to kick start the programme with a bang.

But equally important will be the work of the Rail Week STEM Ambassadors, which are being provided in association with the educational charity STEMNET. Rail Week STEM Ambassadors will be on hand to visit schools and colleges and give that all-important first-hand insight for teachers and students into the plethora of roles and career choices that exist around the in rail.

Rail Week is being led by Young Rail Professionals Limited, a company registered in England in Wales number 08963662. Young Rail Professionals is a not-for-profit membership association created by and led by young people working in a variety of rail-related roles. Run by volunteers, YRP seeks to support other young people in the early stages of their careers, and promote the industry to young people in education.

More than 50 companies are joining forces to deliver Rail Week events from right across the industry. For more information, see our Collaborators page.


See the Rail Week events