According to the British Embassy, 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 visiting 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 practices 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 cooperation 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 cooperation will enlarge the railway knowledge share and will open mutual business opportunities between our associate members, not only in both countries but also in third ones, like the Commonwealth and CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries).

Lisa Bandari, British Ambassador to Portugal commented: “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”.