Home Company News Scottish SMEs to benefit from new international rail cluster

Scottish SMEs to benefit from new international rail cluster

A series of projects designed to find more environmentally friendly train and track solutions, as well as bringing jobs and inward investment to Scotland’s manufacturing and engineering sectors, is being supported by Scottish Enterprise.

The agency, with support from Transport Scotland, has appointed Scottish Engineering to build an international rail cluster that will link Scottish SMEs with train manufacturers, contractors, academics, and research centres.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Scottish Government, said: “As we continue transition through the Scottish Government’s Routemap to Recovery it is clear we need to do all we can to boost the economy through green initiatives. This new rail cluster will make a significant impact to the rail industry and also Scottish businesses in the longer-term.

“Last month I launched our Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan which sets out in detail how the Scottish Government will decarbonise Scotland’s rail services by 2035, in line with last year’s Programme for Government commitment, and contributing towards our commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

“Together we have a once in a generation opportunity to not only stimulate innovation within the train manufacturing industry but also to create skilled, sustainable employment in Scotland through stable workbanks.  This has corresponding benefits for up skilling the workforce, for more apprenticeships, for the development of talent, and for long-term employment security.

“Working together I am confident that Scotland can and will continue to lead the UK and global march to net-zero.”

Scottish Enterprise head of high value manufacturing David Leven added: “This is an exciting development in Scotland’s fight against the climate emergency, and in building a new field for jobs and investment. The Cluster Builder will help to ensure that Scottish companies benefit from worldwide growth in the low carbon rail sector.

“The project will connect Scottish businesses with the country’s top manufacturing innovators, as well as connecting up supply chain partners. It will provide real opportunities for SMEs in Scotland, as well as contributing to our ambitions for more and better jobs and a green economic recovery.”

Shona Clive.

The 18-month project to build the rail cluster will be delivered by Scottish Engineering, and will be led by Shona Clive, who joins Scottish Engineering from Babcock International Group, whilst continuing to lead Women in Rail Scotland.

Shona Clive said: “The Scottish Engineering team is well positioned to identify companies who are the right fit and can bring their own attributes to the table.

“In the current circumstances, this will begin life as a digital project with a number of events bringing the parties together online in the initial months. But the ambition is there within Scottish Enterprise for this to develop into a physical cluster of businesses and research centres in Scotland, collaborating to deliver a world class manufacturing capability in low carbon rail transport.

“It’s a real honour to be involved at this early stage in what promises to be a huge development for rail and engineering in Scotland, as well as creating more environmentally friendly railways for world markets.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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