High Speed Rail in the UK
Jun 30 2016

High Speed Rail in the UK

Building more than a railway: delivering HS2 and amplifying its benefits

Radisson Blu Portman, London

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Marketforce’s High Speed Rail in the UK is the country’s largest strategy-led and opportunity-focused conference dedicated to the UK’s investment in high speed transport infrastructure.

With HS2 due to achieve Royal Assent before the end of 2016, now is the time for discussions to push forward from development to delivery. Adopting a ‘project-led’ philosophy, the conference will mirror the shifting discourse, and explore associated projects in the North, Birmingham and Old Oak Common as well as HS2 itself. Join us this year to engage directly with Tier 1 contractors and gain strategic insights on topics as diverse as design, digital delivery and stakeholder engagement.

Delegates joined us to:

  • Hear from HS2 as well as the minister responsible about how the project will progress both now and in the future
  • Discover associated opportunities en route through presentations delivered by the London, Birmingham and Northern development bodies
  • Meet Tier 1 contractors in the Supply Chain Think Tank and discuss how investment benefits can be amplified
  • Learn about HS2’s design and see how ground-breaking BIM techniques will help to deliver the project
  • Network with over 170 of your peers from across the country at a truly unrivalled forum


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Thursday, 30th June 2016

Welcome address by Philip Doyle, Director, Marketforce
Chair’s opening remarks
Anthony Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Transport Focus

Session One: Looking beyond royal assent and towards construction

Planning for the future now: outlining and assessing HS2’s timeline for delivery
  • Achieving royal assent: how far have we come and what is left to be done?
  • Working with the supply chain: engaging the industry early
  • Looking ahead: sustaining and amplifying the benefits of investment
Giles Thomas

Acting Technical Director


Extended Q&A
How is Network Rail preparing for the largest ever change to the rail network?
  • Network Rail and HS2: establishing a collaborative and cooperative relationship
  • Sharing skills and knowledge: identifying opportunities and challenges
  • How will construction impact the aims of CP6 and beyond? 
Rupert Walker

Head of High Speed Rail Development

Network Rail

Safeguarding design quality throughout project inception and delivery
  • What are the design challenges for a project the scale of HS2?
  • Feasibility and deliverability: how will the supply chain influence design?
  • Beyond HS2: putting design at the heart of a £100 billion revamp of UK infrastructure
Sadie Morgan

Chair, Design Panel, HS2

Co-Founding Director, dRRM Architects

Panel Discussion and Questions

HS2 as the central spine of the railway of the future                                                                       

  • Gearing up for construction: how is the industry readying itself for 2017?
  • Learning lessons in procurement: how can openness and efficacy be assured?
  • Why are joint ventures and collaboration essential to success?
  • Considering asset management and planning throughout the build process
  • The skills challenge: getting the right workforce in the right place at the right time
  • How can the highest safety standards possible be ensured during construction?
  • Embedding innovation throughout development
  • What is being done to prepare the network for eventual integration?
  • More than a mode of transport: considering the needs of the end user now
Giles Thomas

Acting Technical Director


Rupert Walker

Head of High Speed Rail Development

Network Rail

Sadie Morgan

Chair, Design Panel, HS2

Co-Founding Director, dRRM Architects

Paul Plummer

Chief Executive

Rail Delivery Group and Association of Train Operating Companies

Keynote Address

Grasping HS2’s potential as an engine for growth

Robert Goodwill MP

Minister of State

Department for Transport


Session Two: Delivering the project efficiently and effectively

How can technology help us to construct and manage a digitally built Britain?
  • Successes in Building Information Modeling: the path towards BIM Level 2 Compliance
  • What impact will BIM have on the construction and management of HS2?
  • Mapping future opportunities: achieving the aims of Digital Built Britain
David Philp

Head of BIM, BIM Task Group

Global BIM Consultancy Director, AECOM

To what extent can high speed rail be a catalyst for change?
  • Applying lessons from road, rail and aviation
  • Commercial arrangements which enable collaborative delivery
  • A tipping point for change in the way the industry delivers?
David Brewer

Strategic Rail Market Director


What lessons can the UK learn from established, international high speed projects?
  • Advocating investment in high speed rail: the consumer-driven and technical  
  • Exploring problems and costs in transitioning between conventional and high speed networks
  • The need to engage the public: raising enthusiasm and overturning myths
  • Ensuring clarity of vision and setting long-term goals
Professor Roderick Smith

Research Professor, Future Rail Research Centre

Imperial College London

Implementing Innovations on the High Speed Line in France
Imed Ben Fredj

Board Member


Chair’s closing remarks
Anthony Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Transport Focus


Session Three: Maximising HS2’s benefits across the entire country

Chair's opening remarks
Steven Eglinton

Director, GeoEnable;

Principal BIM Tutor, Institution of Civil Engineers

One agenda, one economy, one north: how will TfN help to rebalance Britain?
  • Examining the Northern Powerhouse: putting transport at the heart of bolder plans
  • What is being done to promote the opportunities created by HS2 across the region?
  • Capitalising on regional strengths: outlining TfN’s broader aims and goals
Julie Carrier

Rail Director

Transport for the North

Capitalising on HS2 and Crossrail’s potential to invigorate North-West London
  • Outlining the objectives of the largest ongoing regeneration project in Britain
  • The station at the centre of it all: a new transport hub for London
  • What will the impact of redevelopment be on existing transport infrastructure at Old Oak?
Victoria Hills

Chief Executive Officer

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

The Crewe super hub: accelerating improvements in capacity and connectivity
  • Prioritising the project: recognising the importance of Crewe
  • The situation at present: forthcoming works and opportunities
  • New challenges? What does a shortened timeframe mean for the project?
Andrew Went

Project Director, Crewe Hub

Network Rail

Maximising the benefits of HS2 in Birmingham: a masterplan for success
  • Developing a long-term, inclusive strategy to amplify HS2’s benefits
  • Regeneration around Curzon: delivering a £1.3bn boost to the local economy
  • Creating an integrated public transport hub: what is being done to supplement HS2?
Liz Peace


Curzon Urban Regeneration Company


Session Four: The supply chain in focus

Supply Chain Think Tank

You and your peers will split into zones to brainstorm about HS2’s construction and surrounding projects. Discussions will be facilitated by senior figures from Tier 1 contractors. Each zone will then have the opportunity to present feedback and ask questions about any issues raised during the discussions.

Liam Thomson

Team Leader, HS Rail


Keith Warburton

Head of Engineering Services

Balfour Beatty Rail

David Black

Strategic Development Director

Galliford Try

Session Five: Safeguarding the necessary conditions for successful project delivery

The NCHSR: a fit-for-purpose institution to train tomorrow’s industry leaders
  • Why is a specialist college necessary to deliver a project of this scale?
  • Developing a broad range of courses for a broad spectrum of students
  • Addressing the gender imbalance: adopting a proactive approach
John Evans

Chief Executive Officer

National College for High Speed Rail

Case Study

Successfully engaging stakeholders during periods of major change on the railway

HS2 must maintain widespread project buy-in by demonstrating best practice in stakeholder engagement, and there is much that can be learnt from the existing rail industry. Go-Ahead carries a third of all UK rail passengers over three franchises in a joint venture with Keolis, and has considerable experience in managing major change projects. This session will explore key learnings for HS2 drawn from the Thameslink Programme, the launch of HS1 domestic services and the Birmingham New Street redevelopment.

Gavin Bostock

Head of Stakeholder Engagement

The Go-Ahead Group

Chair’s closing remarks
Steven Eglinton

Director, GeoEnable;

Principal BIM Tutor, Institution of Civil Engineers

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Who attends? 

Attendee breakdown by sector and job title

This year's conference was attended by over 120 senior delegates. Companies in attendance this year included:

  • ABB Group
  • Alkoomi
  • Alstom
  • Ashtead Plant Hire
  • Atkins
  • Bachy Soletanche
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Bauer Consumer Media
  • Buckingham Group Contracting Limited
  • Building Design Partnership
  • Cementation Skanska
  • Clifford Chance
  • Costain
  • CPMS Rail
  • Crossrail
  • Curzon Urban Regeneration Company
  • Department for Transport
  • dRMM Architects
  • East Japan Railway Company
  • Eiffage Construction Métallique
  • Furrer and Frey
  • Fusion
  • Fusion/AECOM
  • Gall Zeidler Consultants
  • Galliford Try
  • George Demetri
  • Govia
  • Heathrow Airport Limited
  • Hewden
  • High Speed 1
  • HS2
  • HSS Hire Service Group
  • Imperial College London
  • Japan Railways Group
  • Keltbray Group Holdings
  • Kier Group
  • Linbrooke Services Ltd
  • Mabey Hire
  • Martello Piling
  • Matchtech
  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Mott MacDonald
  • National College for High Speed Rail
  • Network Rail
  • Network Rail (High Speed) Ltd
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • NRi Digital
  • Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Polypipe Civils
  • Quattro Plant
  • Rail Delivery Group
  • Rail Express
  • Railway Gazette International
  • Setec
  • Skanska UK
  • Taylor Woodrow
  • The Times
  • Thomson Ecology
  • Transport for the North
  • UK Power Networks
  • UK Power Networks Services
  • Unipart Rail
  • URS Corporation
  • Volvo Construction Equipment
  • Westbourne Communications

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Venue Details

Radisson Blu Portman, London
22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG

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