Nigel Harris

Managing & Events Director , RAIL and Rail Review


Councillor Roger Lawrence

Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Wolverhampton Labour Group

Roger is the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Wolverhampton Labour Group. Roger was first elected in 1983. As Leader Roger is also the Chair of the Cabinet, the decision making body at the Council.


Prior to being elected to St Peter’s ward Roger worked for Sandwell MBC and as a researcher for a number of Universities. He was educated at Millbrook School, New York and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.


He has an MA in Community Studies from Keele, and an Msc in Policy Studies from Bristol. He has a D Soc Sci from the University of Bristol for a study of Cross Border Collaboration in Central and Eastern Europe.


Roger cites local democracy, urban regeneration, regional development, organisational and structural change and social inclusion as his main political interests. He has published on European Structural Funds, the Voluntary Sector, and Citizenship.


Roger is the transport lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).


Roger is supported by the Co-operative Party and supports co-operative principles.


Michael Charteris

Scheme Project Manager , Network Rail

Michael joined Network Rail in 2013 on the Project Management graduate scheme. He currently works as a Scheme Project Manager in the team delivering the new Brent Cross Station. Previous to this he has worked on the Bromsgrove re-modelling and station scheme and Birmingham Gateway Project and has worked with the IP track S&C Business improvement team and IP Southern team.

Michael has been a member of the Young Rail Professionals since 2013 and was chairman of the West Midlands region for 2 years, National YRP Secretary for a year, National Treasurer last year and is the 2018 National Chairman.



Sir Peter Hendy

Chairman , Network Rail


Chris Grayling

Secretary of State for Transport


Philip Hoare

Chief Executive, Atkins & Industry Lead for the Rail Sector Deal

Philip Hoare is Chief Executive Officer of SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business in the UK and Europe and is responsible for leading a 10,000-person strong team across multiple sectors including transportation, water, property, aerospace, defence and security.  

Since joining the Atkins business in 1997, Philip has held several senior positions and previously led the transportation division as well as operations across Europe.   

Philip is committed to collaborating with clients and partners to face the future, taking full advantage of digital transformation to improve the efficiency and productivity of infrastructure delivery through best-in-class capabilities in engineering, design and project management.

Passionate about the skills agenda and celebrating diversity and inclusion, Philip is a strong advocate of STEM and early career development.   He sits on the board of the National College for High Speed and is also the senior leadership sponsor of Atkins’ LGBT network.

As a proud chartered civil engineer by profession, Philip is a member of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.   He is a member of the Rail Supply Group Council and is currently working on behalf of industry and closely with UK Government to develop a Sector Deal for rail as part of the Industrial Strategy.  In addition, Philip is a Director of the Railway Industry Association, a Non-Executive Director of the Rail Safety and Standards Board and a recently appointed member of the Defence Growth Partnership Steering Committee.


Paul Plummer

Paul took up his role as Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group in November 2015. He began working in the railway sector in 1999 when he became Chief Economist and Director of Economics and Finance at the Office of Rail Regulation.

He went on to join Network Rail in 2002, and in 2008 he was appointed to the Network Rail Board as an Executive Director and Group Strategy Director at Network Rail Infrastructure Limited.

In 2011, he became one of two Network Rail members of the Rail Delivery Group.



Neil Robertson

Chief Executive , NSAR


Nusrat Ghani (invited)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport


Mark Carne

Chief Executive , Network Rail

Mark Carne is chief executive of Network Rail. He was appointed in 2014 and has been instrumental in driving change in the organisation turning it into a devolved group of cost-competitive and customer-focused businesses. Network Rail is now delivering almost a quarter of all infrastructure investment in the UK.  This is the biggest investment programme in generations – £130m every single week – and it does this in a few hours at night so that the railway can keep serving 4.5m passengers, safely, every day. Mark has been a driving force behind the Digital Railway revolution which will see more trains running faster, more reliably and at lower cost on our existing infrastructure. Mark previously worked for Royal Dutch Shell plc, BG Group plc and Shell and is a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


Mike Brown

Commissioner , Transport for London


Mark Thurston

Chief Executive Officer , HS2

Mark joined HS2 as Chief Executive Officer in March 2017.

Previously, Mark was Managing Director for Europe at CH2M and was with the company from June 2008.  Mark had P&L responsibility for a business with some 3500 employees that spanned the UK and continental Europe, operating in the Transportation, Water, Environment and Nuclear and Industrial Technologies sectors.  With more than 25 years’ experience in project and programme management, Mark has worked in both the public and private sectors on some of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects.

During his time at CH2M Mark spent a significant amount of time in leadership roles on major programmes, including three years as Strategic Projects Director on Crossrail, leading the Programme Partner joint venture Transcend.

Prior to this Mark was Programme Delivery Manager on the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, where he led the Power Lines Under Grounding project and the £500m Structures, Bridges and Highways programme on behalf of the CLM delivery partner consortium.

Mark started his career as a technician apprentice on the London Underground and trained as an electrical/electronics engineer.  He has a Master’s Degree in Engineering Project Management from Loughborough University.

Mark is a Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management at University College London and is an honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Association for Project Management.


Stephen Joseph

Chief Executive , Campaign for Better Transport


Tobyn Hughes

Chairman , Urban Transport Group

Tobyn Hughes has been the Managing Director of Nexus for three years.

In this role he leads Nexus, the public body responsible for providing high quality integrated public transport services through the Tyne and Wear Metro system, Shields Ferry, bus, ticketing and information services. 

Tobyn is passionate about improving travel for people who live and work in North East England and has extensive knowledge of the commercial, operational and regulatory environments involved in rail, Metro and local bus services.

He recently led a successful bid for funding to acquire new Metro rolling stock and is now working on plans to expand the system.  He was also behind the introduction of ‘Pop’, a smartcard that can be used for 'pay as you go' travel on the Metro and local bus services which now has a low-cost version for young people.

Tobyn plays leading roles in Transport for the North, Rail North, and the Urban Transport Group, where he is the group’s current Chair.

A Newcastle University graduate, Tobyn has over 20 years’ experience working in aviation, bus and rail transport. 


Laura Shoaf

Managing Director , Transport for West Midlands

Laura Shoaf is Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) – part of the West Midlands Combined Authority. She has more than 20 years’ international experience in delivering integrated economic and spatial regeneration.

After leaving her native USA, Laura became Head of Strategic Planning and Implementation at the Black Country Consortium and was instrumental in the creation of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

As Black Country Director of Transport, Laura championed and led the area’s transport agenda, directly advising Chief Executives, Leaders and the LEP.
In 2015, Laura became Strategic Director for Transport at the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority and then in June 2016 took up her current position where she is responsible for key initiatives across the metropolitan area such as Midlands Connect, the HS2 Connectivity Package and the region’s Strategic Transport Plan, liaising with Government departments and regional agencies for the benefit of the West Midlands. She is also responsible for delivering a £4billion transport package over the next 10 years underpinning economic regeneration in the region.

Laura is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a committee member of both UITP and EMTA, highly-respected international and European organisations dedicated to promoting public transport and the dissemination of best practice.


Supported by: