The Rail Forum, which represents over 160 rail related businesses across the Midlands, has changed its name to better reflect its membership; as well as align with the increasingly important Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect sub-national bodies.

The decision to adopt the name Rail Forum Midlands was taken yesterday at the Forum’s AGM, and reflects the growing importance of the Midlands as a distinct political and economic region.

Elaine Clark, Rail Forum General Manager, said: “A growing number of our members and regional stakeholders have asked us to work with rail businesses in both the West and East Midlands so that our collective voice can be better heard in Whitehall and Westminster.

“We already have members drawn from across the entire Midlands region and adjacent cities and today’s subtle rebrand will allow us to offer Rail Forum events and services in locations outside of our traditional East Midlands geography. More importantly it will allow us to partner with educational and industrial partners across the Midlands, which is one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy.”

Paul Francis, Chair of the Rail Forum, said: “Over the last three years or so we have transformed the Rail Forum into a highly-respected business focussed organization with a set of clear priorities aimed at helping our members’ businesses to succeed. Our newly strengthened Board will ensure that we build on that work.”

Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee and Member of Parliament for Nottingham South, said “I have seen the excellent work that the Rail Forum has done with the railway supply chain across the East Midlands. Bringing together the railway industry across the Midlands makes perfect sense. I hope the newly expanded Rail Forum will continue to grow awareness of the entire Midlands rail industry, as well as support an increase in supply chain orders both at home and abroad”

Andrew Pritchard, Director of Policy & Infrastructure for East Midlands Councils said: “Enhanced East – West connectivity across the Midlands is one of the key aspirations we share with Midlands Connect. Creating a body that represents the entirety of the Midlands rail industry will help remind central Government we have regional businesses ready and willing to make our vision for enhanced connectivity a reality.”

Created and governed by the industry, the Rail Forum has represented regional rail businesses since 1993 when it was formed in Derby.

Notes to Editors

About Rail Forum Midlands:   RFM is a regionally focused trade organisation supporting the rail supply chain cluster across the Midlands. Born out of the Derby rail industry at the time of privatisation, RFM has over 160 members from across the industry, with a particular focus on SMEs. Originally the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum it became Rail Forum Midlands in 2015. RFM actively supports the national rail agenda and strategy with regional activity across the skills, innovation and export priorities.
RFM is owned and governed by its members. The Board is made up of senior representatives from large, medium and small organisations including: Bombardier Transportation UK, Datum, East Midlands Trains, EliteKL, Geldards, Inside Out Group, Porterbrook, Resonate, Siemens, SNC Lavalin, Tarmac, Tecforce, TidyCo, Wabtec, Yellow Rail
For further information contact Elaine Clark on 07890 791373 or elaineclark@midlandsrail.co.uk  or visit  www.midlandsrail.co.uk