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Portuguese and UK railway industry bodies agree partnership

10 April 2024 


Two leading Portuguese and UK railway trade bodies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the British Ambassador’s Residence, in Lisbon, Portugal that will lead to greater co-operation and collaboration between the two industry associations.

The UK Railway Industry Association (RIA) and the Plataforma Ferroviária Portuguesa (PFP) announced the partnership as part of a UK rail trade delegation of 16 companies visit to Portugal this week.

The partnership will see the two associations work more closely together, benefiting the memberships of both organisations, and helping to boost each country’s export potential in rail.

The agreement will see:

  • The exchanging of information in areas of research, development and innovation (not IP protected) in each country;
  • Sharing best practice in relation to skills, training and industry recruitment;
  • Co-ordination in trade fairs, rail exhibitions and industry events in Portugal, the UK or elsewhere, as appropriate;
  • Access to meeting facilities in the offices of PFP or RIA by members of either organisation.


Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the UK Railway Industry Association, said: “We are pleased to embark on a new journey of enhanced co-operation between the UK and Portuguese rail industries. The agreement will benefit the membership of both organisations through the exchange of knowledge and expertise from across the two countries. In the UK, rail exports play a vital role in helping increase growth and boosting supply chain resilience. We look forward to working with our colleagues at PFP to maximise the export potential between our respective railway industries.”

João Figueiredo, Presidente of the Board of Plataforma Ferroviária Portuguesa said: “We will welcome gladly RIA in Portugal, to formalize and initiate a strong co-operation between our both associations, following the tradition of the oldest international alliance still in force, with the kingdoms of Portugal and England: 1373 – Luso British Alliance, later formalized by the Treaty of Windsor, 1386, and the marriage of Philippa of Lencaster with John I of Portugal (1387).

This co-operation will enlarge the railway knowledge share and will open mutual business opportunities between our associate members, not only in both countries, as well as on third ones, like the Commonwealth and CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries).

Lisa Bandari, HM Ambassador to Portugal, said: “Congratulations to the Railway Industry Association and the Portuguese Railway Platform. It is great to witness a rail alliance with our oldest ally emerging! We have been trading partners for centuries, and I hope this memorandum will enhance collaboration between the British and Portuguese rail industries, delivering projects in Portugal, in the UK and elsewhere, contributing towards the prosperity of our two nations”.

Notes to Editors
  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has over 360 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. 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).
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