Darren Caplan

Chief Executive, Railway Industry Association


Darren Caplan joined RIA as Chief Executive in January 2017. Since then he has led the RIA team, with a mission to promote rail supply sector growth, increase RIA’s visibility amongst political and stakeholder decision makers and influencers, and ensure RIA develops into the very best trade association it can be for its members, focused on helping to develop an even bigger and better railway industry. In 2023, RIA acquired two media outlets and a rail supplier community from the Rail Business Daily Group, growing RIA’s reach, size and team considerably.

Since 2017, RIA has won more than 10 industry awards for events, lobbying, and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. In 2024 it won the Trade Association Forum (TAF) “Trade Association of the Year Award” and in 2019 the “Overall Best Association” category at the Association Excellence Awards, as well as, in 2022, the TAF “Leadership Award”.

Prior to RIA, Darren was Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) for six years, the trade association for UK airports and the sector’s suppliers. Before the AOA, Darren worked for 14 years in communications, politics and public affairs across a number of sectors, including infrastructure, planning and technology. Darren is a lifelong and long-suffering supporter of Crystal Palace FC!