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Rail Partners’ conference at RSN 2024 highlights rolling stock innovation and depot transformation as essential to delivering a high performing railway

08 July 2024
  • Following its success last year, Rail Partners hosted the conference at the annual Rolling Stock Networking event in Derby.
  • The conference addressed two important themes: how innovation can deliver higher performing and more cost-effective rolling stock and how depots can support a high performing railway and create great places to work.
  • Attendees heard from leading industry speakers from companies including Greater Anglia, Angel Trains, the Global Centre for Rail Excellence and Stadler.

Following its success last year, the conference from Rail Partners at Rolling Stock Networking (RSN) returned for a second year on 4 July. Drawing upon the industry expertise of Rail Partners and its members, the conference addressed two important themes: how innovation can deliver higher performing and more cost-effective rolling stock and how depots can support a high performing railway and create great places to work.

Hosted by Mark Gaynor, Director of Operator Services at Rail Partners, attendees heard from leading industry professionals from companies including Greater Anglia, Angel Trains, the Global Centre for Rail Excellence and Stadler.

Rail Partners also hosted a lunch sponsored by Stadler and Angel Trains, where attendees networked with industry colleagues between the morning and afternoon sessions.

Mark Gaynor, Director of Operator Services at Rail Partners, said: ‘Our conference at Rolling Stock Networking this year explored the importance of innovation in making trains more reliable, more affordable and more attractive to our passengers. And it was also great to shine a light on the critical role that depots play in ensuring our trains run on time.

‘We had a really engaged audience and it was excellent to hear from insightful speakers from across the railway.’

Kelly Warburton, Chief Commercial Officer at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence said: ‘It was fantastic to take part in the Rail Partners Conference, which is always one of the most engaging events in the rail calendar.

‘This year’s conference was especially important because of its timing. Following the general election, we will see critical decisions taken about rail’s future that will have important impacts for the industry, for our economy and for our collective path to net zero.

‘I believe there are significant opportunities ahead for rail in the next few years, including establishing the UK as an international leader in rail innovation and harnessing the high-quality infrastructure that the Global Centre of Rail Excellence will provide to the industry. It was great to set out that exciting vision at the conference.’

Ben Parry, Engineering Director at Greater Anglia, said: ‘Procuring and introducing new train fleets is far from easy, it is fair to say that as an industry we have yet to develop the recipe for repeatable success. Challenges are magnified when undergoing a total fleet replacement, especially if the incoming stock is novel or features ‘first of a kind’ innovations.

‘Greater Anglia has just completed the largest total fleet replacement project in recent times, procuring bespoke products from two different manufacturers - one of whom had never sold into the UK market before.

‘It was a pleasure to have an opportunity to address RSN and talk through some of our successes and failures, with a particular focus on lessons learned – which I hope was of interest to anybody involved in future or ongoing fleet procurement activities.’ 

Read more about the event on the Rail Partners website: https://railpartners.co.uk/latest/past-events/rail-partners-conference-at-the-2024-rolling-stock-networking-event 

About Rail Partners

Rail Partners exists to make the railway better by harnessing the expertise and creativity of private sector operators for the benefit of those who use the railway, passengers and freight customers, and those who pay for it, including taxpayers.

Rail Partners provides advocacy and policy solutions for its private sector passenger owning group and freight company members. Rail Partners additionally provides technical services to train operating companies in both the public and private sectors. For more information regarding our membership visit:  https://www.railpartners.co.uk/

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