A better railway sector in Europe can lead to a more competitive and sustainable economy, thanks to improved mobility, cleaner transport and safer infrastructure. The EU-funded project 'Education and training actions for high-skilled job opportunities in the railway sector' (SKILLRAIL) aimed to improve employment in the sector. The project worked on matching graduates from different research-based education and training institutions across Europe with the needs of this growing sector. In this context, the project designed and launched the virtual EURAIL European University of Railway to create, transfer and disseminate knowledge within the sector. It defined the needs of railway stakeholders and developed training courses for high-skilled jobs in four key areas: asset management, railway dynamics, rolling stock and energy efficiency. Significant focus was also placed on fostering gender balance in the sector, particularly since the representation of women in the transport field is low compared with the labour market overall. Another key project priority was to facilitate part-time or full-time postgraduate studies by giving specialists the opportunity to develop their skills. In this respect, the project has enhanced and expanded access to railway-related courses, in addition to improving the quality of education in the field. After globally documenting the educational landscape in the field, the project put forward study topics not offered by existing institutions and developed novel courses based on e-learning principles. It promoted joint PhDs and international master's degree programmes in the field by delivering an excellent array of advanced courses. In parallel, the project conducted one workshop on best practices in skill development for future rail professionals and another on sustainable and competitive solutions for rail mobility. SKILLRAIL successfully catered to the evolving needs of the railway sector and reached out to young people who want to improve their skills in the field. It underlined the need for advanced high-tech engineering to develop more robust railway systems and also disseminated valuable knowledge in this respect. The project has finally bridged the gap between the past and future of railways in Europe.