The Railway Industry Association

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).

RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry. Members benefit from representation, networking, information services and exports support. Much of our activity is focused through a series of special and technical interest groups, addressing key issues through a programme of meetings and seminars, bringing suppliers into contact with clients and industry bodies such as Network Rail and HS2 Ltd.

RIA supports and is actively engaged in many cross-industry groups and initiatives, including Women in Rail and Young Rail Professionals. Other key areas of our activity include innovation, skills and supply chain improvements. More information can be found on our website.

  • The Railway Industry Association has supported the Big Rail Diversity Challenge every year since 2017, because we believe it is a fun way to promote an important point. That for UK rail to be at its best, its workforce needs to be genuinely equal, diverse and inclusive.

    Both existing railway professionals and future trailblazers need to work together, to ensure we have a talent pool which includes the widest mix of people and skills for rail employers to work with and choose from – which is represented at the BRDC. This agenda is not just a nice to have – rail faces a skills shortage, so we need to celebrate the opportunities rail offers and attract the next generation of talent. Rail offers a diverse range of careers, all over the country and globally – from customer service to engineering, technology and project delivery; and it is at the cutting edge of some of the most important agendas of our time including zero carbon travel, digital transformation, and customer service.

    So RIA and Women in Rail – now celebrating over 10 years – launched a joint EDI Charter for rail in November 2020, as a positive campaign to increase the diversity of the talent and skills pipeline, and to promote an inclusive culture within organisations. The EDI Charter is not prescriptive: it focuses on what signatories can do rather than what they are not doing.

    We now have over 200 organisations committed to the Charter, and there are more coming on board regularly. If anyone reading this wants to discuss signing their organisation up to the Charter, please do get in touch, at In the meantime, let battle commence at the BRDC!