An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Neil Walker, Exports Director at Railway Industry Association – London, United Kingdom

We provide a range of exports support services to members, including seminars, briefing meetings and a weekly distribution of market and export opportunity information. Working closely with the Department for International Trade as a Trade Challenge Partner, RIA also organises a number of rail-specific activities which are open to all UK companies and Members. With global coverage, these include seminars, trade missions to and from the UK, and organising UK industry participation at overseas trade fairs.

Rail Analysis: It is great to meet you, Neil. Please tell us more about the Railway Industry Association?

Mr. Neil Walker: The UK rail sector is a valuable part of the UK economy. It generates £36 billion in economic growth, supports 600,000 jobs and provides £11 billion in tax revenue each year. Its also important for international trade, with the UK exporting £800 million in rail goods and services a year. And for every £1 spent in rail, £2.20 is generated in growth.

The Railway Industry Association works as the voice of the UK rail supply community. We have around 300 companies in members, covering the full range of rail goods and services, including contractors, consultants, professional services and equipment manufacturers.

Booth at IREE 2019

We also cover both rolling stock and infrastructure, and contain both multinational companies and SMEs. We have four core functions: Public Affairs & Policy, Technical & Innovation, Events & Information, and of course, Exports.

Rail Analysis: Why did you attend IREE and why did you find it useful?

Mr. Neil Walker: IREE is a good way of showcasing new innovations and UK products. It is a platform where everyone can meet and develop relationships with key contacts in India and across the world. We have a great relationship with the British High Commission here in India and their DIT staff, who are the UK Government’s trade arm, so it was encouraging to meet with them and develop those relationships further.

For UK exports, understanding the different market here, the culture and business practices is vital. That is why we formed UK pavilion – and so far we’ve been very impressed with the opportunities at the show.

Our Pavilion consists of companies that are already trading in India, and those looking to trade here for the first time, and see this asa prospective market.

Rail Analysis: What are some of the new innovations you are showcasing here?

Mr. Neil Walker: Some of the UK companies who are showcasing their new innovations are :

Furrer and Frey: They are experts of all kind of electrification in Railway Control Systems for depot facilities. This involves the safety aspects concerning earthing, and access to stairs on working platforms, crane control and a locking mechanism of the movable overhead conductor rail connected with corresponding signals.
British steel: They are the manufacturers of steel and their expertise in research and development is well recognized in the rail industry. They have developed many partnering relationships and have become a strategic supply chain partner to many organizations around the world. They aim to work with industry colleagues, developing innovative solutions to business and engineering issues.
LPA Group PLC: They are the world leader in design, build and supply of LED lighting technology and high performance electrical components, with the high quality, design for life philosophy, LPA provides cost-effective solutions to improve reliability, reduce maintenance and minimize life cycle costs of rail.
Wrexham Mineral Cables LTD: They supply the mineral insulated copper cables which are totally inorganic and silicone free and have been installed in many global metro & rail projects, including Delhi and Mumbai metro systems, These cables can survive in temperature excess of 1000 degrees for hours whilst undergoing direct impact and exposure to water pressure in excess of any current British Standards.
University of Birmingham: They are the largest university – based in UK for railways research and education in Europe, developing world leading technologies alongside renowned higher education programme.
SRS Rail System International LTD: They are leading suppliers of Road Rail vehicles and operate one of the largest fleets. They hire fleet consisting of access platforms, viaduct inspection, crane, etc. Perpetuum Ltd: Perpetuum is the global leader in the supply of self powered wireless condition monitoring solutions to the global rail industry. This enables improvements in safety and reliability as well as reduction in costs.
Rolls-Royce India Pvt Ltd: Their pioneer cutting-edge technologies deliver the cleanest, safest and most competitive solutions to meet customers vital power needs. Under the MTU brand, Rolls-Royce Power Systems markets large high-speed engines and propulsion system for ships, heavy vehicles and the oil & gas industry.


This Interview is a part of our December 2019 Magazine: Subscribe to our Magazine Today!