Posted on / in Rail Project

Rail Forum Midlands Leads Collaborative Approach for Primary Engineer’s Rail Project for schools.


Primary Engineer® is pleased to announce that Rail Forum Midlands working in collaboration with industry and government has become a funding partner for the Primary Engineer Rail Project providing 12 primary schools in the East Midlands area the opportunity to engage with inspiring STEM projects.
Acting as the lynchpin, Rail Forum Midlands has brought together funding from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Hitachi Rail and Porterbrook to bring the Primary Engineer Rail Project to schools in the region. Further companies will be involved providing volunteers to support the delivery of
the projects in schools. The collaboration will see engineering professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and specialities working alongside pupils and teachers. A one-day, practical CPD course for teachers will provide them with the know-how and kit to deliver the whole-class, rail-orientated engineering projects with engineering professionals providing a real-life context to the project.

Business Minister Lord Callanan said: 
“I am enormously proud to support the Primary Engineer programme which, along with Rail Forum Midlands and industry partners, will help to educate and inspire the next generation of engineers. This scheme is hugely ambitious, helping school children across the East Midlands, one of the rail industry’s traditional heartlands, to ignite their interest in the fundamentals of engineering for years to come.”

Elaine Clark, CEO Rail Forum Midlands, said:
“We have supported education outreach into secondary schools for many years and have long held the aspiration to get more involved with younger aged pupils. Thanks to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who have acted as a catalyst to pull key companies together we are delighted to now
be able to deliver the Primary Engineer Rail project across the East Midlands. We plan to build on this initial start adding more schools across the wider region in the coming years”.

Pete Fletcher, Emerging Talent Specialist, Hitachi Rail said:
“We are incredibly proud to increase our support of the Primary Engineer scheme to encourage more young people to think about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). This work helps us to inspire the next generation into a career in rail to further encourage diversity of people and ideas in our

Rupert Brennan Brown, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Porterbrook and a Rail Forum Midlands Board Member, said:
“Porterbrook is committed to encouraging and supporting the next generation of railway engineers. As our industry responds to the decarbonisation and Net Zero challenges set by government, we need enthusiastic and passionate young people who can help build the railway of tomorrow.  We are proud to work with RFM,
BEIS and Hitachi on the delivery of The Primary Engineer Rail Project which aims to connect the railway with primary schools across the East Midlands.”

Chris Rochester, UK Director at Primary Engineer, said:
“Having this opportunity to work with a group of fantastic rail organisations to bring the Primary Engineer Rail Project to even more pupils and teachers in this part of the country is superb. Early engagement is really important so that all pupils regardless of gender, ethnicity or background can develop a passion for engineering and aspire to a future career in the rail sector.”

With a passion for STEM, Rail Forum Midlands’ engagement with Primary Engineer builds on their existing iRail programme for secondary pupils by providing opportunities for primary pupils to begin to understand what engineering is, that engineering is open to everyone and to explore engineering within the context of rail.



About Primary Engineer®

Primary Engineer is an educational not-for-profit organisation that provides programmes to encourage children from 3 to 19 years to consider STEM and engineering careers. Primary Engineer inspires children, pupils, parents and teachers through continued professional development courses, whole class project work, competitions, and engagement with engineers and industry professionals to ensure the learning has a context to the wider world. Primary Engineer addresses the diversity and gender imbalance in engineering with early years, primary and secondary pupils. 


About Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey. With a presence in 38 countries, across six continents and over 12,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state of the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit


About Porterbrook

Porterbrook has been at the heart of the UK rail network for over 25 years and owns over a quarter of the national passenger rail fleet. We provide high-quality, digitally enabled rolling stock which helps deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable railway. We currently have around 4,000 vehicles on lease or on order. Since privatisation, we have invested £3bn in new passenger and freight vehicles, and we are looking to invest a further £1bn in Britain’s railway over the coming years. We are committed to supporting and developing the UK rail supply chain. We trust 100+ UK-based companies to maintain and upgrade our assets, investing over £3m a week and supporting c.7,000 jobs.


About Rail Forum Midlands

Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) is a national industry body with strong regional connections including supporting the nationally and internationally important rail supply chain cluster across the Midlands; RFM has over 250 members providing products and services across all aspects of the industry. RFM actively supports the national rail agenda and strategy, encouraging collaboration, promoting members’ capabilities, leading a number of regional skills initiatives and supporting innovation and export priorities. RFM is owned and governed by its members with a Board drawn from member companies.