RFM Launches #RVEBigIdea

The Rail Forum are delighted to launch their exciting new supplier engagement activity taking place at this year’s Modern Railway’s RVE show.

In a change to our previous activity, we have refreshed our traditional RVE Meet The Buyer to bring it up to date and provide much greater value to suppliers and customers.

#RVEBigIdea is the next step in supply chain engagement for the rail industry focussing on delivering real value through one-to-one meetings with rolling stock customers to introduce exciting new responses to the challenges our industry faces.

Suppliers will be invited to submit new ideas, products and services to support the rolling stock sector, under a selection of different themes.  The themes are key to industry challenges, namely – decarbonisation, productivity, accessibility and asset optimisation – and allow suppliers to really showcase their new and developing offers.

All the participating customers will review the applications and select which suppliers they wish to meet at the Modern Railways RVE show on 4th November 2021, in Derby.

 There is already a fantastic line up of customer organisations taking part comprising of 18 major organisations:



Gemini Rail Group


Transport for London


Angel Trains




Unipart Rail


Arriva Train Care








Nottingham Tram Wabtec


DB Cargo


Stadler UK


Siemens Germany


First Group






“After delivering three very successful Meet the Buyers at Modern Railways RVE, we are thrilled to be bringing forward this refreshed activity” comments Elaine Clark, CEO of Rail Forum. “Meet the Buyer has been a great way for industry to speak to the procurement teams of major customers. Looking forward, the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail poses several key challenges for our industry and we are keen to demonstrate that the supply chain is ready to meet these. We are creating a brand new opportunity for the industry to come together and respond through our #RVEBigIdea with key themes such as decarbonisation and optimisation featuring in this new approach.”

We will be holding an open industry briefing on 15th July at 4.00pm and registration for the briefing will remain open until 12th July. Bookings can be made at:  https://www.midlandsrail.co.uk/events/rve-supplier-engagement-briefing-big-idea/

Applications will then open on 13th September and close 24th September via our dedicated webpage, launched at the briefing event.

‘Britain’s railway is on the cusp of very major changes, and there are real opportunities for innovative suppliers to make a significant difference to the railway’s efficiency, operation and environmental credentials’ says Modern Railways Editor Philip Sherratt. ‘As the railway recovers from the pandemic, there is no better opportunity to showcase the products and technologies which will have such a huge impact on the railway over the coming decade and beyond.’

#RVEBigIdea is free to Rail Forum members and exhibitors to Modern Railways RVE show.  A nominal administration charge applies for non-members/non-exhibitors.

Selected suppliers will be meeting with representatives from participating customers at the Modern Railways RVE show in Derby on 4th November.

“We are very excited about #RVEBigIdea and are delighted to be working with our colleagues at Modern Railways for another year” said Cat Appleby, Membership Manager. ”The response and enthusiasm to embrace this change from the customers taking part have convinced us that this is a positive step forward to deliver real value and benefits for participants: customers and suppliers.”


For further information:

Elaine Clark – CEO



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 280 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.


About Modern Railways RVE

Modern Railways RVE is the premier single-theme event aimed at the engineering of rail vehicles for refurbishment, maintenance and enhancements. Now under the ownership of market-leading Modern Railways magazine, the eighth expo and conference will be held at the Derby Arena on 4th November 2021 between 10.00 and 16.00. As well as the exhibition, new features in 2021 include a refreshed supplier engagement programme led by Rail Forum Midlands under the #RVEBigIdea brand, as well as the Fourth Friday Club Rail in the Midlands conference with senior speakers from across the region. Entry to Modern Railways RVE is entirely free for anyone working in the rail sector.

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