News and Updates

Pledge your support to Rail Week 2017

Rail Week takes place from Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October with the aim of bringing the rail industry in all its guises closer to schools, teachers, career advisors and students. The dedicated week of activity will help address the skills shortage in rail-related roles and inspire a generation of young people through a series of events, visits and talks.

Last year more than 70 companies and organisations joined together and delivered over 150 events across the country for the first ever Rail Week. And now we need your commitment and support to make Rail Week 2017 even bigger and better.

The Rail Week initiative is the brainchild of the professional networking association Young Rail Professionals, but needs organisations across the rail industry to now get involved.

Why get involved?

  • Attracting talented and ambitious young people into rail iessential to meet the rail demands of the future.
  • By working together as an industry we will create greater awareness among students, parents and teachers about the opportunities and great careers in rail.
  • Rail Week will help challenge people’s perception of what it is to work in rail by showcasing the many different people, skills and roles in the industry which keeps passengers moving and allows us to deliver some of the most ambitious infrastructure projects around.
  • Rail Week will help improve the public perception of rail by delivering an engaging coordinated campaign which shows the best of rail and the people who work in the industry.

We need you to:

  • Get your company to sign our Rail Week 2017 – Pledge Letter and email to
  • Confirm you are supporting Rail Week through events, social media or content
  • Host tours of your depots, factories, control centres, stations, etc.
  • Badge any events/publicity you have in the diary for 9-15 October as part of the Rail Week campaign
  • Volunteer your staff to promote rail in schools as Rail Week Ambassadors

Rail Week is going to be an incredible celebration of everything that is great about Rail and we look forward to counting you as one the supporters to make Rail Week an incredible success.

Network Rail LNE Rail Week Round Up

For one intensive week, the London North Eastern and East Midlands team celebrated all that is great about the railway industry by inspiring approximately 450 young people with an exciting programme of events across York and the surrounding areas.


Andy Leonard, training team leader, prepares to set off on a tour on Saturday 2 July as part of Rail Week

On 2 July, crowds gathered for guided tours around York Station, Scarborough Bridge and the Rail Operating Centre before learning all about the railway infrastructure and career opportunities at the Career Day in George Stephenson House.

Representatives from Network Rail, AMCO, Jacobs, Atkins and Arcadis spoke to a wide range of people from young people who had come with their parents, to others looking for a change in career.

19 volunteers from the LNE and East Midlands team also visited 7 local high schools to promote career opportunities within the rail industry, as well as involving students in interactive demonstrations of what the railway has to offer.

The week rounded off with a station open day, hosted jointly with Virgin Trains East Coast.

The team have already received feedback from the public following their hard work in coordinating the week:

The training centre tour was brilliant – I highly recommend it. I was originally thinking of training to be a signaller, but I’m now fascinated by welding too. I think I’ll apply for both!

I really appreciated the change to find out about what I can do with my history degree at the careers fair. I’ve always loved the railway and exploring old deeds but I never thought about property and liabilities as a possible career choice until now. You’ve given me lots to think about!”

Network Rail: National week of discovery and learning about the rail industry concludes

Rail Week was conceived by Young Rail Professionals so that young people, parents, teachers and careers advisors could see first-hand the exciting projects and facilities and range of jobs in rail.

As well as a programme of activities in schools, colleges and universities, led by industry ambassadors, there were talks and displays at sites on the railway, including stations, from companies such as Network Rail, Atkins Global, South West Trains, Crossrail and HS2 Ltd.

Enthusiastic audiences

In Wales, Network Rail employees visited a number of schools in Newport – Gaer Primary School, Maesglas Primary School, St David’s Primary School and Duffryn Junior School.

Network Rail and Communities First – the Welsh Government’s community-focussed programme – jointly co-ordinated the sessions, with interactive quizzes and talks from a range of Network Rail ambassadors about the rail industry and the dangers the railway can bring if it isn’t used safely.

Rail Week has been a great opportunity for us to engage with local schools and inspire a generation of young people to consider future careers in rail.

The rail industry has a lot of exciting and dynamic career paths and we’re keen to help bridge the skills gap and emphasise just how many opportunities there are for a broad range of people at companies like Network Rail.

Joanna Cheeseman, HR Business Partner in Wales

In York, 19 volunteers visited seven high schools with presentations about the rail industry and interactive activities – all part of a wider programme of events in the city for Rail Week.

Behind the scenes

A stall at York station offered information about railway careers and shared details of the events available through the week.

Weekend tours were a highlight, with guided visits including York Railway Past and Present – a walk around York’s historic centre to see how it was shaped by the railway – as well as a tour of the workforce development centre and a self-guided tour of Scarborough Bridge, with a video and presentation about how it was rebuilt.

Members of the public were also invited to a tour of Network Rail’s Training and Signalling centre in York on Sunday 3 July.

Signalling the future

Signalling was in focus elsewhere on the rail network too. On 30 June Network Rail opened the doors to its Basingstoke training centre campus to nine students from the City of London Academy, giving them first-hand experience of driving trains and operating signalling equipment.

The students tested their skills on Network Rail’s driver and signalling simulators and track equipment.

Network Rail will have a huge demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates and apprentices in the coming years so it is vital that we take an active role in promoting the fantastic opportunities available to young people at this crucial point in their school careers.

Lindsey Tien, Assistant Commercial Scheme Sponsor

Safety first

Across the south and west, Network Rail volunteers attended an assembly of over 100 students at Hampton Junior School in Hampton to talk about how to stay safe on the railway, and delivered a presentation to students at Henry Tyndale School in Farnborough discussing how Network Rail plans to make the railway safer and more accessible over the coming years.

A visit from the Network Rail Safety Bus to Reading station on Tuesday 28 June provided the perfect opportunity to discuss safety on the railway with the public, while experts from disciplines across Network Rail were on hand to answer questions.

In Anglia, a special c2c school train was running from Pitsea to Southend, with Network Rail employees giving career and safety talks to the children on board.

This gave me the chance to showcase that a career in the railway is not just about trains and tracks; it’s full of exciting challenges and vital to our economy.

Eliane Algaard, Director of Route Asset Management for Anglia

Network Rail experts were also at the Norfolk Show during Rail Week, with a mock level crossing as a backdrop for people of all ages to learn about crossing the railway safely and find out about the role of the British Transport Police (BTP) and the joint BTP and Network Rail mobile safety vehicles.

The BTP, who police the railway, were also promoting their discreet service for reporting crime or incidents on trains and at stations by texting 61016.

Future impact

Young Rail Professionals and Network Rail hope that this week’s events will help attract more young people into careers in rail, not only addressing the skills shortage in rail-related roles, but also inspiring a generation of young people into exciting and dynamic careers.

To see posts from the week on social media, use #railweek and #careersinrail.

Network Rail's Dan Partridge, Charles Varey and Tracey Young with Duffryn Junior School pupils

Network Rail’s Dan Partridge, Charles Varey and Tracey Young with Duffryn Junior School pupils

Abida gets to grips with driving a train using Network Rail's driver simulator at Basingstoke

Abida gets to grips with driving a train using Network Rail’s driver simulator at Basingstoke

Caitlin and Sanel learn to operate a railway using Network Rail's signaller simulating equipment

Caitlin and Sanel learn to operate a railway using Network Rail’s signaller simulating equipment

Trying out the mock level crossing at the Norfolk Show earlier in the week

Trying out the mock level crossing at the Norfolk Show earlier in the week

Visitors to Network Rail's tour of its York training and signalling centre for Rail Week

Visitors to Network Rail’s tour of its York training and signalling centre for Rail Week

Network Rail's Safety Bus stops off at Reading station last week

Network Rail’s Safety Bus stops off at Reading station last week

YRP’s Rail Week a Resounding Success

RFEM-at-Big-Bang-Fair-East-Mids-400x300Yesterday saw the close of a remarkable week for the rail industry. It was a week of cross-industry collaboration; a week of targeted rail events for young people across the country; and a truly inspiring week. It was Rail Week, and it was a resounding success.

Successful not only for the Young Rail Professionals, who envisioned a unified industry recruitment drive, but for all of the organisations, companies, volunteers, attendees and participants involved. Rail Week provided an opportunity to engage with the future generations of our industry, to showcase the diversity of careers available, and to redraw the image of rail as the exciting, innovative industry we know it to be.

London Careers Panel

London Careers Panel

During the week over 70 organisations held over 150 bespoke site visits, educational activities and behind-the-scenes events, as well as dozens of inspiring STEM school outreach sessions. Find out more about what happened through the Rail Week website, Twitter,Instagram, Facebook and Linked-in, @railweek #railweek.

YRP would like to thank everyone who helped make Rail Week such a phenomenal success. We are extremely grateful for the support and encouragement from the rail industry as a whole, and all the organisations, companies and individuals who turned Rail Week from an idea to an exceptional reality. Thanks to the DfT, BIS, Rail Alliance and the RIA for providing funding, HSRIL for their PR support, and to all of our Corporate Members, without whom these ventures would not be possible.


Bombardier Careers Open Evening

Bombardier Careers Open Evening

East Midlands Trains Rail Week Experience

We’ve been taking part in the first ever Rail Week this week with a series of
events designed to promote careers in the rail industry. Over the week, we’ve opened our doors to Pear Tree School and the Armed Forces to highlight the benefits of a career in the rail industry. Talent Manager Chris Buckley has provided us with his thoughts about the week…

Wow! What a busy week – we’ve had engineering tours, school trips, work
experience placements and Twitter chats! It’s been great to be part of Rail Week 2016.

The Train Planning & Access team have had a work experience placement with them for the week, we managed to grab a sneaky picture before he boarded the train at Derby for his cab ride with Martin Ward.


On Tuesday, we hosted 15 members of the Armed Forces looking for their next career move when their service with the forces comes to an end. Depot Manager Kyle Stewart and a couple of his engineering colleagues very kindly opened up the Bombardier and Etches Park Depots to show our guests round and tell them more about engineering within East Midlands Trains.

EMT hosted 15 members of the Armed Forces looking for their next career move when their service with the forces comes to an end.

On Wednesday, we hosted 2 Year 5 classes from Pear Tree School who enjoyed a tour of Derby Station and a train ride to East Midlands Parkway. Customer Experience Manager Danni Blavins with the support of Travel Advisor Deana Cook gave the pupils a great insight into life behind the scenes at Derby station and Senior Conductor Ben Mousley made sure the kids had a great day.


Finally on Thursday, the Talent team went digital with a Twitter chat, kindly hosted and supported by Digital Marketing Executive Lucy Pickering and Cheree Clegg from the control team at EMCC. We chatted online to a number of tweeters covering topics such as Apprentice opportunities, roles available at East Midlands Trains and how to become a driver.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in Rail Week 2016 to make it a really successful event at EMT. We’re already looking forward to making Rail Week 2017 bigger and better!

Press Release – Rail Week: Bridging the Rail Skills Gap

Rail Week, the brainchild of the professional networking association Young Rail Professionals (YRP), launches on Monday 27th June, with a series of events dedicated to address the skills shortage in the rail industry by inspiring a generation of young people to consider careers in rail. More than 150 bespoke site visits, educational activities and behind-the-scenes events, as well as dozens of inspiring STEM school outreach sessions, will take place throughout the week up and down the country.

Events will be hosted by more than 70 organisations from across the railway industry. Highlights include a tour of the Farringdon Crossrail station in central London hosted by engineering consultancy Bechtel. Other events include a tour of the control centre for the Merseyrail network in Liverpool, visits to the Bombardier train manufacturing facility in Derby and the ‘Rocket to Bullet’ exhibition at the National Railway Museum, York. Meanwhile, Transport for London will be showcasing the complex rebuilding of Bank station, one of the largest upcoming investment projects on the London Underground network, and hosting visitors at Stratford Market depot on the Jubilee Line.

Rail Week is being supported by the Department for Transport, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders, amongst a number of key industry bodies.

Speaking ahead of Rail Week, Sabrina Ihaddaden, National Chair of Young Rail Professionals, said:

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 and inspire the next generation.

Claire Perry, Rail Minister, said:

We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era, with major projects such as HS2 and Crossrail improving journeys for passengers right across the country.

The career opportunities in rail are huge. And we need skilled young people – men and women – to build a future in the rail industry and help us deliver these projects.

Who doesn’t remember waving at a train as a child and the excitement we felt? It’s a question of harnessing that enthusiasm and helping young people understand what the possibilities are in rail.

That is what Rail Week is doing. I am delighted to support it and I applaud the Young Rail Professionals’ initiative in making it a reality.

Mike Brown MVO, TfL’s Commissioner, said:

We are proud to support Rail Week by hosting a number of events, including a tour of the exciting work that is taking place to modernise Bank/Monument Underground station. To keep the city moving, working and growing, it is vital that we inspire the next generation to consider careers in the transport industry. Many young people are not aware of the diversity of careers in rail, and too many young women think that a career in rail is not for them.

Rail Week gives us the opportunity to change those perceptions and showcase careers for all young people, whether in engineering, quantity surveying, customer services and a huge variety of other roles.

Nicola Shaw, CEO of HS1 Ltd and author of the recent Shaw Report into the future of Network Rail:

The long-term future of the sector is dependent upon drawing in ever more diverse talent to the fantastic careers that are available in rail. Initiatives like Rail Week are commendable for the work that they do in highlighting what the rail industry has to offer young people and graduates, and I’m delighted to support them in encouraging people to consider a career in the sector.

The Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy, published in January 2016, has a stated aim of creating an additional 30,000 new apprenticeships by 2020. Rail Week provides an opportunity to progress and achieve these goals, paving the way for the whole transport sector to get involved in similar initiatives in the future.

For further information, contact:

Rachael Shanahan, or on 0207 096 2231

Notes to Editors


Research commissioned by industry bodies RSSB and the National Skills Academy for Rail in October 2015 found that the economic cost of the skills gap in the rail sector was calculated at £206m per year at present, rising to £316m per year by 2024. Rail Week additionally supports the Rail Supply Group’s goal to more than double export volumes and values by 2025.

Rail Week

  • Rail week will run from Monday 27th June to Sunday 3rd July 2016-06
  • Further information on Rail Week can be found at or email
  • Rail Week is being delivered by Young Rail Professionals with support from Department for Transport (DfT), Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), Rail Industry Association (RIA), Rail Alliance (RA) and High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL)
  • Over 70 companies throughout the UK have also supported Rail Week including Network Rail, Transport for London (TfL), High Speed 2 (HS2), and Crossrail.

Young Rail Professionals (YRP)

  • YRP was founded in 2009 to promote, inspire and develop the next generation of railway talent and is open to any young rail professional.
  • The organisation brings together people from all aspects of the industry, whether they are involved in engineering, asset management, train operations, strategic planning, maintenance, franchising, regulation, marketing or human relations
  • The YRP delivers Networking and Professional Development opportunities including technical seminars, presentations, site visits and socials. The organisation works closely with a number of professional institutions, running regular events with the Railway Study Association, Institute of Railway Operators and Women in Rail