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.

    Virtual Event 1: Introduction to the Rail Cluster Builder

    Scottish Engineering is delighted to hold the first of our Rail Cluster Builder virtual events, aimed at providing SMEs with relevant information needed to enter the rail sector.

    In this exciting online event, you will hear more about our plans for developing the Rail Cluster Group over the next 18 months, including a series of informative webinars, directing companies to the support and information they need and making connections with the main rail providers and OEMs.



    Key Speakers

    Lawrence Shackman
    Head of Rail Projects and Technical Services
    Transport Scotland

    Lawrence will give us an introduction to the Rail Decarbonisation Plan to set the context of the Rail Cluster Builder.


    Jon Veitch
    Managing Director

    Jon will give an introduction to Talgo’s plans for establishing a manufacturing base in Longannet, Fife and developing a local supply chain.



    15 September

    Virtual Event 2: Flexible Working For Business Improvement

    The Mon-Fri, 9-5 way of working has been becoming outdated for years – even before COVID 87% of full-time employees either worked flexibly, or said they wanted to. Meanwhile, organisations that have been embracing flexible working are citing clear business benefits as a result. Flexible employers report having more engaged and committed employees improved retention rates, better ability to attract talent and increased productivity.

    The COVID pandemic has accelerated the pace of change in how we work. Millions of workers have experimented with home working, working hours have been thrown up in the air as people adapt, mindsets about flexible working have shifted and demand for flexible working is currently at an all-time high, with 44% of the workforce set to request more flexible working when coronavirus restrictions are lifted.  So, if there was ever a time to get on board with flexible working it is now.

    Maybe you are seeking more flexible working in your own life and we will have a section all about how to go about achieving this.

    This webinar is aimed at anyone with an interest in creating a more flexible working culture within their workplace, or anyone keen to explore their own flexible working options.

    Key Speakers

    Lisa Gallagher and Nikki Slowey
    Co-Founders of Flexibility Works

    Nicola Spence
    Airbus Program Director, Spirit Aerosystems



    12 November

    Virtual Event 3: Innovation in the rail sector

    More information to follow

    Date TBC

    How do you get involved?

    To register your interest in this opportunity, fill out your details below and we will keep you up to date with information and opportunities.


    Register your interest




      “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