About us About us

The York Rail Innovation Community exists to connect the depth of rail expertise in York with each other, and with innovative capabilities outside of the rail sector. 

We're here to:

  • help local organisations with innovative ideas understand the rail industry, and how to engage with it;
  • showcase innovation from within and outside the industry to local rail businesses, to catalyse more innovative thinking.

We were formed by a group of people working in a wide variety of rail roles, all based in York who all felt we could leverage and support the depth of local knowledge and expertise better. We're an informal community, not seeking to make a profit out of events, and aiming that our events will be free to participants.

We'll be holding a series of learning and networking events during 2019 - our launch event is on Wednesday 20th February from 1pm, at the National Railway Museum

Follow us on Twitter, or join the LinkedIn group to be kept informed.



What are our aims?

  • Catalyse local collaboration focused on rail innovation.
  • Learn from & promote recent innovation successes
  • Build on momentum created by Innovation in Franchising activity. 
  • Provide a platform to showcase local innovations. 

Who is it for?

  • The industry – TOCs, FOCs, ROSCOs, infrastructure. 
    • Hear about initiatives from other sectors and connect with potential partners
  • Newcomers – businesses with innovative ideas looking to enter rail. 
    • Showcase innovations delivered in other sectors and to understand & connect with the rail industry
  • Existing suppliers. 
    • See the wider industry context and connect with potential partners
  • Funders – those looking to invest in rail innovation. 
    • See opportunities to invest and drive awareness of innovation funds 

Why York?

  • A local focus to catalyse local collaboration 
    • But welcoming participation from across the wider region
  • Growing and diverse community of rail innovators. 
  • A city shaped by the railway revolution at the heart of the rail network. 

Why are we different?

  • Local focus – we are centred on York, though all are welcome. 
  • Depth and breadth of expertise. 
  • Real innovation – not just mobile apps and fizz. 
  • Cross domain – seeing the wider picture.
  • Members who are willing and able to take ideas and make them happen. 

What are our plans?

  • Launch event Wednesday 20th February 2019 - 1pm, Railway Museum.
    • Showcase achievements; Showcase outside ideas; Build mutual understanding; Understand members’ priorities for subsequent events; Half-day event.
  • 3 further events through the year.
    • Focused on topics chosen by members; Exploring how innovation can be applied; 2-hour early evening events
    • Topics might include: Technical enablers (AI, VR/AR, IoT, blockchain, etc); Innovation culture; Process change. 

Who's involved?


Check out our launch event