Registration and networking

Welcome tea, coffee and pastries will be served in the exhibition area. Arrive early to get the most out of your day by meeting the exhibitors and networking with the other delegates.

Nigel Harris, Managing Editor and Events Director, RAIL magazine

Welcome from RAIL magazine.  Nigel will set the scene for the day and give his view on the conference theme.

Steve Norris, NRC Chairman

Steve will give a brief introduction to the day's proceedings.

Sir David Higgins, Chairman HS2 Ltd


Chris Burchell, Chair, RDG

The future of rail

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus

Passengers and HS2: what do passengers need, want and expect from the new rail services?


Pose your questions to the speakers.

Networking break and visit the exhibition

Your chance to meet the exhibitors and discuss the day's proceedings with your industry peers.

Councillor Bob Sleigh, West Midlands Combined Authority and Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

HS2 – a high speed link to progress and prosperity for the West Midlands 

HS2 presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive economic growth and prosperity across the region.  The Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy outlines how we are seeking to fully maximise the benefits of the largest infrastructure project in Europe.  It outlines the delivery mechanisms, partnerships and funding structures required to turn the ambitions in to reality and ensure that through HS2, the region is at the heart of the UK’s economic future.   

Laura Shoaf, Managing Director, Transport for West Midlands

HS2 – a catalyst for regional connectivity

Effectively connecting the Curzon and Interchange stations and their associated development zones to other transport hubs, local communities and the wider West Midlands is about delivering so much more than improved transport links.  It’s about realising the full economic benefits of HS2 connectivity for residents, workers and businesses across the entire region.  


Pose your questions to the above speakers plus Patrick Twist, Chairman of the GBS Business Transport Group and Partner at Pinsent Mason.

Lunch, exhibition and networking
Mike Lyons, Programming Director West Midlands, HS2 Ltd

HS2 catalyst for growth


Jim Brewin, Head of Business Development, Hitachi Rail Europe

Creating a UK legacy through the railways.

As we watch one of the greatest periods of growth for new rolling stock delivery in the UK, alongside HS2 and new deliverables for a digital railway, we need to ensure we leave a legacy. This means addressing skills gaps, supporting local communities and involving people at all levels of a programme to encourage collaboration.

Andrew McNaughton, Chief Operating Officer, SYSTRA

Understanding the legacy from international high speed rail projects

SYSTRA has had the rare privilege of working on half of the world’s high speed rail projects. It’s been 10 years since our engineers took part in the incredible 574km/h world rail speed record. This year we completed the 300km South Europe Atlantic high speed line between Tours and Bordeaux and are now busy designing the Kuala Lumpur - Singapore high speed line. It’s fair to say that we live and breathe high speed rail.

From our global experience, we will share the lasting legacies that high speed rail projects are having upon people’s day-to-day life, the rail industry and beyond.



Pose your questions to the above speakers plus Dr Mark Raiss, Engineering Director, Civil Infrastructure , EMIA, AECOM and Neil Sime, Managing Director, MD, Victa Railfreight (CILT)

Iain Anderson, Executive Development Director, Colas Rail Ltd

Creating a skills and diversity legacy   

Clair Mowbray, Chief Executive, National College for High Speed Rail

Launching the National College for High Speed Rail

With doors opening in September 2017, Clair will outline why the industry needs this new facility; how the curriculum will meet the skills need; and how business has and can support the college in its opening year and beyond.


Professor Peter Woodward, Chair in High Speed Engineering, University of Leeds

Focusing on high speed rail research.

The establishment of the Institute for High Speed Rail Engineering and the focus it will bring to HS2 research. The bigger picture of HS2 and its role in the North and to the UK.



Pose your questions to the above speakers plus Adrian Adair, Operations Director, Morson International.

Jackie Brock-Doyle, Former Director of Communications & Public Affairs, LOCOG

The importance of public perception and support - PR lessons for HS2 from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Bidding for and hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games is a 10 year project.  It culminates in an event that attracts the biggest global audience on the planet.  What starts out as a fantastic opportunity to market a city and a country and inspire a generation of young people to choose sport turns eventually into an issues laden, risk management project.   Long before the athletes line up on the track or the pool deck you have gone many rounds with naysayers and opportunists, defended the improbable and devised a thousand creative ways to excite and engage the population.

Balancing national interests with international attention, 19 government departments, changes in prime ministers and Mayors and a nation of 60 million+ stakeholders across the cynical spectrum is as complex as they come.   Managing expectations, laying out the journey for others to follow, generating excitement, keeping everyone informed and side stepping skirmishes (some of your own making) is an art not a science but the lessons we learned over the decade can apply to any industry.

As with many complex projects the initial idea is simple, necessary and relevant.  Remembering WHY you started out on the journey, rather than just what you are doing and how you are doing it is critical.

Winning hearts and minds is rarely an instant exercise and there are inevitable ups and downs when the journey is a long one.  It requires focus, clarity and most of all integration.   I will focus my speech primarily on four drivers of integration:

  • Vision and Trust – what you stand for and the promises you make
  • Partnerships and Engagement – the company you keep and the advocates you create and attract

Pose your questions to the above speaker.

Chairman's Close
Networking, refreshments and exhibition

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