iRail Events

The Challenge

Key players in the East Midlands rail industry were looking for an innovative way to attract bright new talent and engage school aged children towards STEM related subjects with a view to a career on the railway.

Our Approach

By Design developed the concept of Innovative Rail ‘iRail’ and have designed, managed and delivered a high profile STEM showcase event and outreach programme bringing regional schools together at an annual event.

The platform both showcases the rail industry and also demonstrates the science and engineering career opportunities available in this growing area. The day provides the Rail industry with the opportunity to not only promote their activity but also network with other key players and interact with young people. Students are also given an engineering challenge to be judged by a panel of experts.

The Result

Since 2009 iRail has attracted hundreds of school students from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with competing solutions to a railway engineering problem. Now organised as part of The Big Bang, the event is now a highlight of the rail industry calendar, providing genuine opportunities for young people and a firmly established brand in the region.

RFM general manager Elaine Clark said: “iRail is all about raising awareness of the opportunities in the rail industry. It’s about trying to inject a bit of enthusiasm in the younger generation about working in the rail industry because people have no idea of the opportunities and the types of jobs that are available.”


iRail East Midlands:

Date: Tuesday 5th March 2019
Venue: Pride Park Stadium, Derby
Time: 9am to 3pm

Email the Big Bang Team to Book Register your school today

For further details on how to get involved or enquire about sponsorship opportunities please contact: or

iRail Derby at the Derby Conference Centre 2018:

13 school teams joined the #iRail2018 East Midlands event at Derby Conference Centre today to showcase their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) skills whilst exploring rail careers.  Schools including Chellaston Academy, Noel Baker L.E.A.D. Academy and Derby UTC to name a few, brought their students to compete in the iRail Bridge Building Challenge. Elaine Clark, Rail Forum East Midlands Manager, opened the day with welcoming speech to students and teachers. Continue reading here.

Rail Staff post event reflection: iRail, knocking down walls and building bridges

Building a bridge isn’t easy. Meticulous plans need to be sketched, materials need to be sourced and bought, engineers need to work together as a team. Then comes the most important part: the testing.

School children from across the East Midlands experienced what it is like at iRail, which was organised by Rail Forum East Midlands (RFEM) at the Derby Conference Centre on March 13. Continue reading here.

Take a look at all the photos from iRail Derby 2018:

iRail Derby 2018

iRail Birmingham at the National College for High Speed Rail 2018:

14 schools across the Midlands joined Learn by Design and East Midlands Rail Forum at the annual West Midlands iRail 2018 event on the 16th May. This year we had the pleasure of bringing the event to the National College for High Speed Rail in Birmingham. Now part of The Big Bang and Careers and Enterprise fund initiatives, the event wowed school pupils as they experienced a full day of rail innovation and education. Continue reading here.

Take a look at all the photos from iRail Birmingham 2018:

iRail Birmingham 2018

Take a look at Rail Media’s iRail 2017 video below:

For further details on how to get involved and enquire about sponsorship opportunities please contact: or