Accelerate Rail Conference

The leading conference for the UK rail industry

16 March 2022

Hilton Tower Bridge, London

Accelerate: Rail 2022 returns at a crucial moment as the industry faces its greatest reform since privatisation. This year we’re bringing together industry-leading speakers, delivering cutting-edge content, and the opportunity to network with innovators from across UK rail.

Now is the time to reflect, collaborate and gain insight on the sector’s transition to Great British Railways while hearing the strategies that will boost your post-pandemic recovery, improve passenger experience, and enhance your digital and sustainability initiatives.

Speakers

Chris Heaton-Harris, Department for Transport, Accelerate Rail Conference

Chris Heaton-Harris

Minister of State, Department for Transport

Andrew Haines Network Rail

Andrew Haines

Chief Executive Officer, Network Rail

Mark Thurston

Chief Executive Officer, HS2

Jacqueline Starr, Rail Delivery Group, Accelerate Rail Conference

Jacqueline Starr

Chief Executive Officer, Rail Delivery Group

Tricia Williams Picture

Tricia Williams

Chief Operating Officer, Northern Rail

John Larkinson

John Larkinson

Director, ORR

Richard Allan Picture

Richard Allan

Managing Director, Chiltern Railways

Claire Mann Picture

Claire Mann

Managing Director, South Western Railway

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Agenda

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Accelerate Rail 2022

Session One | Great British Railways: A New Direction for the Rail Industry

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9.10

Keynote

Mapping out an ambitious vision: The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail


Chris Heaton-Harris, Department for Transport, Accelerate Rail Conference
Chris Heaton-Harris

Minister of State
Department for Transport

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9.20

Interview

A guiding mind: setting out the route map from Network Rail to GBR  

  • Assessing progress so far: what steps have been made and what’s next on the agenda? 
  • What is Network Rail’s vision of interaction between GBR and TOCs, and how will this work in practice? 
  • Putting the passenger first: what will putting the passenger at the heart of operations look like in action? 
  • Collaborating on the transition: what more could the industry do to smooth the way? 
  • The trajectory of reform: what key milestones should different parts of the industry be working towards? 

Andrew Haines Network Rail
Andrew Haines

Chief Executive Officer
Network Rail

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9.40

Making the most of reform: accelerating innovation in rail 

  • Unlocking progress: how can the industry make the most of technology to better serve the passenger? 
  • How should the relationship between GBR and TOCs be structured? 
  • Moving full-steam ahead: how can faster-paced innovation be facilitated in the industry? 

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10.00

Interview

Regulation in a time of extraordinary change for rail

  • From the pandemic to PR23: what lessons are shaping ORR’s vision for the future? 
  • How can existing and new regulation support the change and help the industry on this journey? 
  • How might the role of regulator need to evolve as GBR becomes a reality, and how might this affect the design of PR23? 

John Larkinson, Office of Rail and Road, Accelerate Rail Infrastructure
John Larkinson

Chief Executive Officer
Office of Rail and Road

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10.20

Leaders’ Forum

Great British Railways: coming together under the new structure 

  • Will this reform drive the efficiencies required from the industry? 
  • A new way of working: what will the relationship between GBR and TOCs look like? 
  • Putting the passenger first: how will excellent passenger experience be incentivised under GBR and who will drive it? 
  • How will local decision-making be enabled under the new structure? 
  • The future of freight: after playing a vital role to keep the country moving during the pandemic, will freight be cut a fair deal under GBR? 
  • Breaking down traditions: can reform facilitate the cultural shift the industry needs to fuel innovation? 
  • Ten years down the line: what does the rail industry look like under GBR? 

Andrew Haines Network Rail
Andrew Haines

Chief Executive Officer
Network Rail

Claire Mann Picture
Claire Mann

Managing Director
South Western Railway

John Larkinson
John Larkinson

Director
ORR

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11.00

Refreshments

Session Two | Building Back Better

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11.30

Panel discussion

Putting rail at the heart of UK transport: strategies for recovery, stability and prosperity 

  • From road to rail: how can TOCs encourage passengers back onto trains in the post-pandemic world? 
  • Staying on the right track: how might passenger behaviours continue to evolve and how can the industry remain up to date with wants and needs? 
  • Flexible and straightforward: in what ways does ticketing need to evolve to fit new travel patterns? 
  • Collaborating on cost:  how can the industry foster collaboration to bring down the cost of rail? 
  • Making investments in infrastructure that will last: where do the challenges and opportunities lie? 
  • Becoming operationally greener: what role will environmental goals play in building a strong and efficient industry? 
  • The future under GBR: how can innovation be fuelled under the new body? 

Tricia Williams Picture
Tricia Williams

Chief Operating Officer
Northern Rail

Suzanne Donnelly, LNER, Accelerate Rail Conference
Suzanne Donnelly

Programme Director
Rail Revenue Recovery Group, GBR Transition Team

Jacqueline Starr, Rail Delivery Group, Accelerate Rail Conference
Jacqueline Starr

Chief Executive Officer
Rail Delivery Group

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12.00

Putting the passenger at the heart of operations 

  • Identifying the pain points: where could operations be improved to enhance passenger experience?
  • What tools are available to drive efficiency in operations?
  • Choosing the right approach: implementing a passenger centric strategy

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12.20

Fireside chat

Ticketing and fares: progress in the post-pandemic world

  • Forecast of revenue: what does the current state of ticketing and fares look like? 
  • Fit for purpose and flexible: how must ticketing and fares evolve to serve new travel patterns? 
  • Digital ticketing: what progress is being made in streamlining customer journeys? 
  • Will the new structure ensure passengers get the best deal for their journey? 

Speaker placeholder | Accelerate Rail
Oliver Owens

Deputy Commercial Director & Head of Revenue Management
Great Western Railway

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12.40

Keynote

Lessons from the pandemic: working together to build back better 

The pandemic radically changed the way the industry had to operate. As collaboration became the key tool to keep services running, a seemingly impossible culture of working together became possible almost overnight. The industry must build upon this experience if it wants to forge a truly efficient and passenger centric industry. In this keynote, Richard speaks on how Chiltern Railways have taken on lessons learned over the past two years to foster a collaborative culture that drives innovation and puts the customer first.


Richard Allan Picture
Richard Allan

Managing Director
Chiltern Railways

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13.00

Lunch

Session Three

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STREAM
The digital railway: signaling a better future for the industry 1
Passenger experience: making passengers the priority 2

The digital railway: signaling a better future for the industry

14.00

Case study

Transformation of the railways: digital signalling strategies 

Technology is essential in facilitating an efficient and safer network for operators and passengers alike. With a significant proportion of signalling equipment needing replacement over the next 15 years, the industry must ensure it’s prepared to maximise investments during this period. In this case study, Toufic shares his insights from his work on the East Coast Digital Programme in the pursuit of a safer, reliable, and more resilient network. 


Toufic Machnouk, Accelerate Rail
Toufic Machnouk

Director, Industry Partnership for Digital Railway
Network Rail

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14.20

Unlocking data to enhance network maintenance 

  • Digital pain points in network maintenance: where could technology fuel the greatest efficiencies? 
  • A move towards predictive operations: utilising data to enhance decision-making and network resilience 
  • Drawing on data for a safter, more informed approach towards network maintenance: what strategy holds the most potential?

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14.40

Fireside chat

Forging the workforce for the modern industry 

  • Delivering the railways of the future: how might skills need to evolve? 
  • Digging into the impact of digitalisation: what challenges and opportunities does this present for the workforce? 
  • Fighting the brain drain: how can the industry better attract new talent?  
  • Reflecting a modern Britain: what initiatives can boost diversity in the industry? 

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15.00

Panel discussion

Building the digital railway: executing the successful delivery of technology across the network

  • Assessing the progress so far: what has worked well and what more needs to be done? 
  • What are the challenges and barriers to adopting new technologies and facilitating innovation? 
  • Speeding up implementation: how will GBR facilitate greater efficiencies to drive the building of the digital railway? 
  • Identifying the right technologies: what holds the most potential and how do you know which is the right choice? 
  • The future of maintenance: where can digitalisation streamline operations?  
  • Providing a reliable and resilient network: what does the digital railway mean for passenger experience? 
  • Looking ahead: what does successful implementation of the digital railway look like and how will we know when it’s been achieved? 

John Doughty, LNER | Accelerate Rail 2022
John Doughty

Engineering Director
LNER

Speaker placeholder | Accelerate Rail
Oliver Turner

Head of ERTMS
Govia Thameslink Railway

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Passenger experience: making passengers the priority

14.00

Keynote

new normal for passenger behaviour: adapting to serve the modern customer

The pandemic has rapidly changed the wants and needs of passengers, with expectations of operators continuing to evolve. From increased capacity on trains and hygiene measures, to flexible ticketing and digital information, understanding future passenger demands are essential to providing an excellent service. In this keynote, Sharon will dive into Transport Focus’ research on evolving customer behaviours and speaks on how the industry must adapt to provide excellent service to the modern passenger. 


Sharon Hedges, Transport Focus, Accelerate Rail Conference
Sharon Hedges

Senior Stakeholder Manager
Transport Focus

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14.20

Utilising technology to improve MobilityasaService 

  • Optimizing transport connectivity: how is technology supporting better connected travel? 
  • Working together: how can providers and station operators better share data to improve connectivity? 
  • Improving the future of travel: what are the next steps in supporting more convenient and efficient travel around the UK? 

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14.40

Interview 

Stations for the future: serving passengers and the communities they live in

  • From the decline of the commuter to Covid anxieties: how have passenger trends influenced station development strategies?  
  • The station as a community hub: what benefits can this bring to TOCs? 
  • Mobility-as-a-Service: how can better transport connectivity support the community and industry as a whole? 

Tom Moran. Great Northern Railway Photo
Tom Moran

Managing Director
Great Northern Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway

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15.00

Panel discussion

Putting the passenger first: providing truly excellent customer experience

  • Becoming a customer centric industry: what does it really mean to put the passenger first? 
  • Getting the basics right: how can TOCs ensure a safe, reliable, and flexible journey? 
  • In what ways will TOCs need to adapt to meet the demands of post-pandemic travel patterns? 
  • From buying a ticket to arriving at their destination: how can TOCs provide passengers with seamless journeys? 
  • Investing on-board: what technologies can be used to enhance on-board digital experience? 
  • Meeting every need: what more needs to be done to improve accessibility and support vulnerable passengers? 
  • Putting the passenger at the heart of industry operations: what will the new structure mean for the future of passenger experience in rail? 

Eleni Jordan, Chiltern Railways, Accelerate Rail Conference
Eleni Jordan

Commercial & Customer Director
Chiltern Railways

Martin Moran
Martin Moran

Commercial, Customer Services Director & Train Presentation Director
Abellio Greater Anglia

Abu Siddeeq | Accelerate Rail 2022
Abu Siddeeq

Head of Customer Experience Strategy
LNER

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15.30

Refreshments

An update on HS2

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16.00

Keynote

HS2: Building Britain’s Largest Infrastructure Project


Mark Thurston

Chief Executive Officer
HS2

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Session 4 | Rail's role in sustainable transport: getting to net-zero

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16.20

Keynote

Providing a roadmap for electrification

Getting environmental initiatives rolling is a key challenge the for the rail sector, with decarbonisation a top priority in the new reforms. Pro-active government backing is essential if the industry want to meet its net-zero goal by 2050. 


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16.40

Case study

HydroFLEX: introducing world leading hydrogen innovation

In partnership with the University of Birmingham and Network Rail, Porterbrook have developed the world’s first hydrogen powered train: HydroFLEX. In this case study Helen will share how hydrogen can pave the way for cost-effective and clean-travel for passengers, and dives in on how ground-breaking green technology can help the industry reach its 2050 net-zero target.


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17.00

Panel discussion

Leading the way in sustainable travel:  strategies for decarbonisation 

  • Reflecting on the outcomes of COP26: how far do rail’s sustainability plans align with wider climate initiatives and what adaptions might the industry need to make 
  • A sustainable choice: how can the industry promote rail as a clean choice of travel to passengers?  
  • Future hubs: how can stations be adapted and developed to become operationally greener?  
  • Battery, electric, or hydrogen: identifying the right solutions in the right places 
  • Fleet modernisation: how are sustainability initiatives impacting rolling stock companies? 
  • Grasping the opportunity: how can rail become the UK leader in sustainable transport? 

Richard Thorp, HS1 | Accelerate Rail 2022
Richard Thorp

Director of Engineering & Sustainability
HS1

Maggie Simpson, Rail Freight Group, Accelerate Conference
Maggie Simpson OBE

Director General
Rail Freight Group

David Clarke

Technical Director
Railway Industry Association

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17.30

Drinks reception

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1 day conference pass, lunch & refreshments and a drinks reception

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Hilton Tower Bridge, Tooley Street, London

Hilton Tower Bridge, London

5 Moore London Place, Tooley Street, London SE1 2BY

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