Rail Cluster Builder

Scottish Engineering is working with Scottish Enterprise alongside Transport Scotland to set up a Rail Cluster Builder for the rail sector in Scotland. The rail cluster will link Scottish SMEs with rail manufacturers, contractors, academics and research centres across the country to identify more environmentally friendly track and train solutions.

The purpose of the cluster builder is to communicate and raise awareness of the opportunities in the rail sector in Scotland and to support the recently issued Government’s Rail Decarbonisation Action in which the aim is to make Scotland a world leader in creating net zero emissions railways.

In the current circumstances, the rail cluster builder will begin life as a digital project with a number of events bringing the parties together online in the initial months.  However, the ambition is there within Scottish Enterprise for this to develop into a physical cluster of businesses and research centres in Scotland, collaborating to deliver a world-class manufacturing capability in low-carbon rail transport.

More information below.

Click here to see companies involved in the Rail Cluster Builder

Register your interest




    Programme of events

    With ambitious plans to develop the project into a physical cluster of businesses and research centres in Scotland, collaborating to deliver a world class manufacturing capability in low carbon rail transport, we are developing an initial programme of online events aimed at providing SMEs with the information they need to enter the sector.

    Get into Rail II - "Unlocking Innovation and Product Development"

    Virtual Event: Wednesday 31 March,  14:00-16:00

    The rail cluster project is pleased to announce the second event of the ‘Get into Rail’ series. This follows on from the Get into Rail – route to market session that took place on 18 March. If you missed the first event and you’d like to watch the recording, please click here.

    During the 1-2-1 meetings that the rail cluster holds with our SME organisations, many of the questions are focused on how to get into the rail sector with SMEs wanting to understand the rail industry standards and approval processes. Both the Get into Rail event 1 and Get into Rail event 2 help to address these questions.

    We are delighted to welcome three terrific speakers who are experts in their fields, so please do make sure you ask any questions that you might have.

    David Clarke, Technical Director from the Railway Industry Association (RIA) will start off the session with Unlocking Innovation. David will explain how existing and potential rail suppliers can get involved in the RIA Innovation programme which is developed with RIA strategic partners Network Rail and UKRRIN. The free and open to all Unlocking Innovation event has run for more than a decade, showcasing new ideas and thinking from across industry and reaching thousands of people. Through five events a year, the programme brings together the people with ideas and ambition to drive change within the rail industry, helping to build new supply chains, supporting clients in finding creative solutions and showcasing the incredible work going on in the industry. Ultimately, Unlocking Innovation aims to support UK rail in creatively delivering the best for passengers and freight users.

    Following on from David’s session, Roger Moore, Senior Product Acceptance Specialist, Network Rail will provide an overview of the Product Acceptance Assurance Process, detailing the scope, stages and stakeholders involved throughout the end to end process. Roger will answer the fundamental questions “Do I need it or not?” and “If I do, what next?”. There is a lot of really useful information you can access by clicking here.

    During the second part of our event, Kevin Rayment, Reliability Process Manager, Network Rail will take us through the Design for Reliability process, a structured procedure identifying minimum requirements for suppliers to demonstrate that they have designed reliability into new or changed controlled products and addressed potential reliability risks using documented outputs from proven tools.

    We hope you can join us in what we think will be a highly informative session.

    Add your company to the Rail Cluster Directory

    Fill in your details below and we will add your company to the directory.  We will keep you up to date with information and opportunities from the Rail Cluster Builder where you can learn more about the Rail Cluster and interact with industry leaders.




      “This is an excellent opportunity for Scotland’s Engineering SMEs to add or grow rail sector involvement at a time when diversification is especially welcome, and all the more so given the target that the rail sector has set in Scotland to drive to zero carbon. This ambition marks this as a stand-out example of the sustainable manufacturing we are keen to grow, and we are also delighted to welcome Shona to lead this project, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and connections in this sector.”

      Paul Sheerin
      Chief Executive
      Sottish Engineering


      “As we continue transition through the Scottish Government’s Route map to Recovery it is clear we need to do all we can to boost the economy through green initiatives. This new rail cluster will make a significant impact to the rail industry and also Scottish businesses in the longer-term.

      Last month I launched our Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan which sets out in detail how the Scottish Government will decarbonise Scotland’s rail services by 2035, in line with last year’s Programme for Government commitment, and contributing towards our commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

      Together we have a once in a generation opportunity to not only stimulate innovation within the train manufacturing industry but also to create skilled, sustainable employment in Scotland through stable workbanks.  This has corresponding benefits for up-skilling the workforce, for more apprenticeships, for the development of talent, and for long-term employment security.

      Working together I am confident that Scotland can and will continue to lead the UK and global march to net-zero.”

      Michael Matheson
      Cabinet Secretary for Transport
      Infrastructure and Connectivity



      “This is an exciting development in Scotland’s fight against the climate emergency, and in building a new field for jobs and investment.  The Cluster Builder will help to ensure that Scottish companies benefit from worldwide growth in the low carbon rail sector.

      The project will connect Scottish businesses with the country’s top manufacturing innovators, as well as connecting up supply chain partners.  It will provide real opportunities for SMEs in Scotland, as well as contributing to our ambitions for more and better jobs and a green economic recovery.”

      David Leven
      Head of High Value Manufacturing
      Scottish Enterprise


      Rail Cluster group members