Demand for graduates with rail expertise remains strong in North America, particularly in engineering and technical fields. Over the past decade, the AREMA Railway Engineering Education Symposium and rail-focused University Transportation Centers have slowly reestablished a railway engineering academic community. Railway courses are now offered at two dozen universities in the United States, and, for the first time in decades, several universities offer specific degrees in railway engineering. Despite this progress, challenges remain, such as raising student awareness of rail industry career paths. Since most railway engineering courses are senior-level electives, many students are already committed to other engineering disciplines before they are exposed to railway concepts. To raise student interest in rail courses and satisfy industry demands for interns, students must be introduced to railway concepts before they decide on the direction of their studies. One approach to directing more rail-aware students into engineering programs is rail-themed outreach to K-12 students. Railways still hold a fascination for many young people and as complex, multidisciplinary systems, numerous interesting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts can be demonstrated through the lens of railway transportation. Interactive rail-themed classroom activities can illustrate STEM topics while highlighting rail career opportunities and reinforcing railway safety. This paper reviews rail-themed K-12 STEM outreach activities being undertaken by universities and the strong partnerships between industry and academia required to grow future generations of railway professionals.