RIA Annual Conference 2019

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Programme - RIA Annual Conference 2019 - "Building customer-focused rail, at home and abroad"

Thursday 07 November

08:30 - 09:30
RIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) - Registrations and Welcome Tea/Coffee (Available for RIA members only)

09:30 - 10:00

RIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) (Available for RIA members only)

09:30 - 10:00

RIA Annual Conference 2019 - Registrations and Welcome Tea/Coffee

10:00 - 10:10

Opening video (TBC)

ITN Productions

10:15 - 10:30 
Annual Conference Opening

Speaker: Darren Caplan, Chief Executive, Railway Industry Association

10:30 - 11:10
Keynote: Priorities for UK Rail, the Government's View

Speaker:  Grant Schapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport (Invited)

11:10 - 11:50
Interview session + Q&A: TBC

11:50 - 12:30
Keynote: Priorities for UK Rail, the Opposition's View

Speaker: Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

12:30 - 13:45
Networking lunch

13:45 - 14:45

Panel Discussion: Developing a Devolved Railway

The session will invite high-level representatives from devolved bodies, the supply chain, a passenger organisation and freight association, to discuss devolution plans to deliver transformed services for rail passengers and freight.

The session will likely cover:
How we can ensure major projects get the green light and we maximise the benefits for passengers;
Lessons learned from devolved bodies and hopes for the future;
How we can ensure there is joined up decision-making whilst also delivering further devolution;
How will Network Rail devolution plans help maximise the benefits of a national devolution;
How the supply chain is responding to devolution and regional investment - RIA NRIL case study

Moderator: Caroline Murdoch, Director Corporate Communications, Network Rail


Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Scotland’s Railway James Price, Chief Executive, Transport for Wales  Maggie Simpson, Director General, Rail Freight Group Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus Barry White, Chief Executive, Transport for the North • Justin Moss, Strategic Development Manager, Siemens & Co-Chair NRIL (RIA NRIL case study)

14:25 - 15:30

Panel discussion: What will it take to close the skills gap & improve diversity in rail?

The rail industry faces a growing skills gap, with a requirement for 63,000 new skilled workers by 2021*. An aging population, a shift to digital skills and uncertainty around future immigration policy post-Brexit mean the rail sector will need to redouble its efforts both to ensure current workers stay in the industry, and to attract new entrants. Bringing in people who previously hadn’t considered a career in rail will be key, and that means ensuring the industry is welcoming and promotes diversity. 

A number of organisations are working on improving diversity and skills in rail. In July 2019, the Railway Industry Association launched the Trailblazers campaign to bring all these organisations together to share their initiatives and challenges and look for common goals to help increase diversity and inclusion, which ultimately, will help close the skills gap. The session will look at these key issues, as well as updating attendees on the progress of the Trailblazers campaign.

The session will likely cover:
•              What are the key challenges for rail companies when it comes to skills, diversity and inclusion
•              Overview of best practices existing in the rail industry
•              Trailblazers campaign: achievements so far
•              Practical guide to support rail companies on diversity and inclusion topics.

*Source: NSAR (National Skills Academy for Rail)


Julianna Moats, Principal Engineer, WSP and National Networking Development Manager Young Rail Professionals Jo Moffatt, Practice Director (Market Partner for Strategic Rail), Transportation, Atkins Neil Robertson, Chief Executive Officer, NSAR Ian Ryan, T Level Employer Readiness Senior Manager, Department for Education Client representative

15:30 - 16:00

Coffee/tea break

16:00 - 16:15

Keynote: Delivering the Rail Sector Deal

Speaker: Philip Hoare, President, Atkins; Chair, Rail Supply Group (RSG) and Overall Rail Sector Deal Industry Champion

16:15 - 17:00

Panel Discussion: Delivering the Rail Sector Deal

The session will invite high-level representatives from the supply chain and government to discuss the Rail Sector Deal; the ambitious plan to deliver transformation across the rail industry over the next 20 years.  

The session will likely cover:
The aims and objectives of the Sector Deal;
The economic benefits of the Deal;
The activities underway as part of the Deal;
Early successes of the Sector Deal.   

Moderator:Neil Ridley, Rail Sector Deal, Programme Manager


Philip Hoare, President, Atkins; and Overall Rail Sector Deal Industry Champion Anna Ince, Chief Executive Officer, Resonate - Midlands Pilot Industry Champion
Rob Morris, Managing Director, Siemens Mobility - Rail Automation - Digital Railway Industry Champion
Mike Noakes, Head of Rail, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy - Government and Client Champion
Noel Travers, Managing Director, Unipart Rail and Unipart Manufacturing Group - Export & Inward Investment Industry Champion

17:00 - 17:40
Keynote and Q&A

Speakers: Polly Payne & Ruth Hannant, Directors General for Rail Group, Department for Transport (DfT)

17:40 - 17:45

Closing Remarks

18:00 - 19:15
Networking reception*

*Available for Conference Full and Evening Only ticket holders. Door opens at 18:00.

19:15 - 23:00

Networking dinner and Awards ceremony*

*Available for Conference Full and Evening Only ticket holders.

Friday 08 November

08:30 - 09:00
Registrations and Welcome Tea/Coffee

09:00 - 09:05
Opening Day 2

09:05 - 09:35
Keynote and Q&A: Doubling exports in turbulent political times 

Speaker:  Liz Truss MP, International Trade Secretary (invited)

09:35 - 10:25

Panel Discussion: How will international opportunities enhance the delivery of a customer-focus railway in changing times?

The session will invite high-level representatives from International rail projects to discuss opportunities abroad and how can the UK supply chain benefit from and get engaged with upcoming business prospects.
Kaspars Briskens, Head of Business Development, Rail Baltica
Philippe Citroen, Director General, UNIFE - Association of the European Rail Industry 
Monica Barbosa, Business Development and Communications Director, XRail – Middle East case study
Howard Collins, Chief Executive, Sydney Trains (invited
Banedanmark (invited)

10:25 - 11:00

Keynote and Q&A

Speakers: Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail

 11:00 - 11:30

Coffee/tea break

11:30 - 12:30
Panel Discussion: Improving collaboration: How can clients, TOCs and the supply chain work better together?
To optimise the operation of the railway for the benefit of passengers and the wider industry, it is imperative for the industry to collaborate more fully.  Effective collaboration between the supply chain, Network Rail and other major clients and TOCs requires the alignment of incentives, a clear understanding of each party’s drivers and objectives and the sharing of valuable information and data.   

A possible example of where such a multi-party approach could deliver benefits by cutting costs and boosting efficiency is around maximising the planning for and use of track possessions for suppliers to work on the railway.  Traditionally in this area there have been bi-lateral discussions between TOCs and NR and between NR and suppliers where what is really needed is three-way discussion between NR, TOCs and suppliers. This requires a culture shift and a move from an adversarial set of behaviours to more collaborative ones. 

This panel will invite representatives from the supply chain, TOCs and clients to discuss and cover:

Challenges to overcome in order to achieve greater collaboration;
How to align incentives;
Showcase best practices of industry collaboration.


Dal Chatta, Procurement Director IP, Network Rail
Julian Edwards
, Managing Director, East Midlands Railway
Emma Dymond, Chief Executive, Motion Rail
Mary Hewitt, Strategy and Policy Director, Arriva
Darren James, Chief Operating Officer, Costain Group
Paul Seller, Commercial Director (Railway Operations), HS2

12:30 - 13:10

Interview session + Q&A: Network Rail’s Chief Executive, ‘One year on’

Speaker: Andrew Haines, Chief Executive, Network Rail

13:10 - 13:15
Conference summary and Close 
Speaker: David Tonkin, Chair, Railway Industry Association

13:15 - 14:00
Networking lunch

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