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Fourth iRail event to be held in Derby

iRail is returning for its fourth year on March 12 at the Derby Roundhouse.

The event, supported by RTM, sees industry professionals come together with school pupils to boost engagement and encourage young people to choose a career in rail.

iRail is organised by the Transport iNet in partnership with the Young Railway Professionals (YRP), the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum (DDRF), Derbyshire Railway Engineering Society (DRES), National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) and the Institute for Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). It is supported by Derby City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Students will take part in a Dragon’s Den style engineering challenge before presenting to a panel of judges, comprised of industry professionals. Rail staff from a number of organisations will be on hand to lend their support and expertise.

The pupils will also have the chance to tour Bombardier Transportation and Network Rail’s East Midlands Control Centre, based in Derby.

Industry professionals will also have a chance to network, and Peter Dearman, head of energy at Network Rail will close the event with a lecture on the rolling programme of electrification and the ‘Electric Spine’, including freight and passenger routes through the East Midlands.

Dave Saunders, chair of iRail, said: “As an industry, we need to avoid complacency and work to attract fresh skills into science, engineering and the rail sector specifically. These messages are particularly relevant at the moment due to the recent announcements regarding the existing rail network and the proposed high speed route, both of which will have a major impact on the East Midlands.   

“The objective of iRail is to engage students and young people with the real life application of science and engineering, simultaneously opening their eyes to the career opportunities it presents. Being based in Derby, iRail also highlights the continued importance of this sector to the region and the on-going place of leading companies such as Bombardier Transportation as an employer and major contributor to the local and national economies.”

John Frodsham, director of the Transport iNet, added: “iRail plays a vital role in encouraging the region’s best and brightest students to consider rail as an exciting career options. Not only is this sector an important part of the economy, but a sustainable mode of transport which must be developed to catch up with the rest of Europe.”

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