The Future of Rail
Nov 28 2017

The Future of Rail

Investing and innovating: growing a 21st century railway

Hilton Tower Bridge, London

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The Future of Rail is the UK’s premier strategy-led rail event, offering a unique one-day briefing on the major issues facing the industry.

Passenger demand for train travel is at a record high and Britain now has the fastest growing railway in Europe. We invited an excellent array of industry experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in building and operating a network fit for the 21st century. Adopting a case study- focused approach, our attendees learned about a range of diverse topics from electrification to smart ticketing, and gained a fresh perspective on issues such as devolution and creating competition on the rails.

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Highlights of 2016:

  • Heard Network Rail’s strategic priorities: from delivering CP5 to implementing the Digital Railway
  • Kept up to date with how major infrastructure projects are developing
  • Found out how the government’s priorities affect operators and suppliers
  • Discovered the latest innovations which have the potential to disrupt the rail market 
  • Debated the role of the railways in multi-modal journeys
  • Met key decision makers from across all areas of the industry

Our 2016 Speakers

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2016 Programme

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Thursday, 1st December 2016

Welcome address by Philip Doyle, Director, Marketforce
Chair’s opening remarks
Putting passengers first

Stimulating economic growth through investment in infrastructure

Paul Maynard MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Department for Transport


Session One: Successfully shaping a 21st century railway

A vision for the future of Europe’s fastest growing railway network
Mark Carne

Chief Executive

Network Rail

Growing a profitable railway: tackling the capacity challenge
Tim Shoveller

Managing Director of UK Rail

Stagecoach Group

HS2: An update on the biggest infrastructure project of a generation
Beth West

Commercial Director


Route-by-route regulation: the right move for rail
Joanna Whittington

Interim Chief Executive

Office of Rail and Road

Panel discussion

Making success sustainable: managing growth and passenger experience

  • What steps are being taken to ensure network capacity matches passenger growth?
  • What further measures are needed improve passenger experience?
  • How can passenger-centricity be embedded consistently at the heart of franchises?
  • Responding to the CMA report: should the role of open access operators be expanded?
  • The Digital Railway: implementing a modernisation regime across the network
  • Creating a culture of innovation and supporting innovative ways of working
  • Thinking locally: what is being done to involve SMEs in the supply chain?
  • Deeper devolution: an empowering movement or a pathway to fragmentation?
  • How might Brexit affect how Britain’s railway is run?


Mark Carne

Chief Executive

Network Rail

Tim Shoveller

Managing Director of UK Rail

Stagecoach Group

Beth West

Commercial Director


Joanna Whittington

Interim Chief Executive

Office of Rail and Road


Session Two: Streams

Stream A: Driving up standards in passenger experience
Panel discussion

A first-class rail service: tracking progress and setting goals 

  • Creating the perfect passenger experience: is the industry close?
  • Communicating with customers: what is best practice for when things go wrong?
  • How can apps be harnessed to improve passenger information?
  • What are the potential applications of big data and analytics?
  • Empowering employees to embrace new technologies
  • On-board entertainment: where next after reliable WiFi and on-demand film?
Alex Hynes

Managing Director

Arriva Rail North

Jenny Payne

Customer Service Director

Chiltern Railways

Richard Brooks

Commercial Director

London Midland

Anthony Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Transport Focus

Panel discussion

The death of the magnetic stripe: the future of ticketing

  • Delivering on franchise promises: why is smart ticketing a mandated priority? 
  • What barriers are there to investing in innovative smart ticketing initiatives?
  • Balancing cost and convenience to cater for varied passenger demands
  • Making sure every passenger pays the lowest fare
  • Print-your-own and mobile tickets: to what extent has barcoding been successful?
  • Are smart cards only practical in urban areas?
  • Harmonising approaches: what can be done to ensure seamless customer journeys?
Jacqueline Starr

Managing Director, Customer Experience

Rail Delivery Group

Matthew Hudson

Head of Business Development, Fares and Ticketing

Transport for London

Paul Johnston

Head of Ticketing & Revenue Protection (Bids)


Stream B: Delivering the railway - from CP5 through CP6
Transforming East Anglia's railways in the new franchise
Jamie Burles

Managing Director

Abellio Greater Anglia

Maximising the benefits of digitalisation: collaborating to deliver results
Shaun Jones

Vice President

Thales Transportation UK

The growing role of the private sector in financing a bigger and better railway
  • Mind the funding gap: the growing need for private investment in rail 
  • Private finance solutions: what is available and what is most appropriate?
  • What is the long-term role of the private sector in funding Britain’s railway?
  • How might Brexit affect the appetite for investment?
Charles Dupont

Head of Infrastructure Finance



Session Three: Streams

Stream C: Focusing on major projects
Case study: Crossrail

Transitioning from major project to fully operational railway

  • Light at the end of the tunnel: completing construction           
  • A change of focus: scheduling the railway service
  • Creating a coherent, customer-facing brand
Oliver Bratton

Operations Director-European Business

MTR Corporation

Case study: Bank station capacity upgrade

Transforming one of London’s busiest Underground stations

  • What improvement works are taking place to turn Bank station from hated to highly-rated?
  • Creating better customer journeys: increased capacity, shorter interchanges and improved accessibility
  • Renovating without enraging passengers: how can station functionality be maintained whilst undertaking major works?
Viki James

Project Manager for Bank Station Upgrade

Transport for London

Case study: The East West Rail project

Establishing a strategic railway

Iain Stewart MP


East West Rail All Party Parliamentary Group

Case study: The Great Western Route

The challenges of electrifying a major route

Richard Rowland

Customer Service and Transformation Director

Great Western Railway

Stream D: Derailing traditional thinking – innovation and disruption across the industry
Creating seamless multi-modal journeys: embracing integrated urban networks
  • Moving towards integration: which factors are aiding local decision-making capabilities?
  • What key benefits derive from integrating transport networks?
  • Sharing best practice: lessons from running multi-modal networks across Europe
Alistair Gordon

Chief Executive Officer

Keolis UK

Lightning Pitches

Lightning pitches 

In this session, innovators & disruptors to the rail industry will have ten minutes to present a “lightning pitch” to demonstrate and discuss how they will transform the industry as we know it. Delegates will then have the opportunity to ask quick-fire questions before a vote is taken to determine which innovation will disrupt the industry most.


Howard Farbrother, Innovation in Franchising Programme Manager, RSSB

Hacktrain: Driving Innovation in Rail
River Tamoor Baig



Pointr: Indoor location data and passenger engagement within the rail industry
Axel Katalan

Chief Marketing Officer & Co-founder


Vivacity: Vivacity’s smart station monitoring system
Peter Mildon

Chief Operations Officer

Vivacity Labs

Sorry, no longer the hardest word: customer service as the new marketing
Martin McGloin


Sorry As A Service

Repoint: fail-safe track switching
Professor Roger Dixon

Head of the Control Systems Research Group

Loughborough University

MyJrny app: making the Internet of Trains a reality
Kevin Ives

Digital Transformation Director


The GATEway project: driving passengers off the rails
Professor Nick Reed

Academy Director & GATEway Project Leader

Transport Research Laboratory

Quick-fire questions and vote

Session Four: Evolving by devolving – the railway of tomorrow

Delivering a joined-up strategy for transport in the North
  • Why is the Northern Powerhouse project essential?
  • From concept to reality: what must be done to ensure effective delivery?
  • Collaborating for success: the importance engaging stakeholders at all levels

David Brown

Chief Executive

Transport for the North

Panel discussion

The benefits and challenges of a devolved rail industry

  • How has centralised policy traditionally affected infrastructure spending?
  • Giving local voices a platform: listening to those who use the network most
  • How can we ensure nation-wide support for devolved power and projects?
  • Achieving alignment: how can localised networks be integrated with the national network?
  • Learning from London: to what extent can other regions use TfL as a model for devolvement?
  • Which rail projects are most likely to benefit for devolution and which might be hindered?
Alistair Gordon

Chief Executive Officer

Keolis UK

David Brown

Chief Executive

Transport for the North

Amanda White

Head of Rail

Transport for Greater Manchester

Chair's closing remarks and end of conference

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Who will you meet? 

Over the past 14 years, more than 1,700 senior executives have attended our Future of Rail conferences. Companies that attended in 2015 include:

  • 21 Net
  • Abellio
  • Abellio Greater Anglia
  • Adey Group
  • Arthur D Little
  • Ashtead Plant Hire
  • BAM Nuttall
  • Bird & Bird
  • Brodies
  • Carlisle Support Services
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Costain
  • Department for Transport
  • East Japan Railway Company
  • East-West Rail All-Party Parliamentary Group
  • Eversholt Rail
  • Fitch Ratings
  • Future Rail
  • GB Railfreight
  • Go Ahead Group
  • Heathrow Express Operating Company
  • Hitachi Rail Europe
  • Hogan Lovells
  • HS2
  • Keltbray Group Holdings
  • Keolis
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • LEK Consulting
  • Mergermarket
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Network Rail
  • Northern Rail
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Office of Rail and Road ORR
  • Osborne Clarke
  • Parkeon
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • ScotRail Alliance
  • Skanska
  • Skanska UK
  • SNCF
  • Southeastern
  • Stephenson Harwood
  • Thales Group
  • Transport for London
  • URS Corporation
  • Virgin Trains East Coast



Save 15%
Group bookings of 3 or more people will receive an automatic 15% discount. Prices listed exclude VAT.
- +
£595.00 + VAT
- +
£995.00 + VAT

*This rate is only available to direct employees of train operating companies, and will be awarded at the discretion of the conference organiser whose decision is final.

Venue Details

Hilton Tower Bridge, London
5 More London Place, Tooley Street, London, SE1 2BY

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