The leading event for the UK rail industry

Formerly known as The Future of Rail

10 March 2020


Accelerate: Rail  2020 formerly known as The Future of Rail, brought together key decision makers to examine emerging opportunities and challenges shaping the UK rail industry. The event dived into topics such as smart ticketing, franchising, devolution, infrastructure and The Digital Railway. 

The event offered unique access to leading figures from TOCs, ROSCOs, Network Rail and a whole host of transport bodies from up and down the country. Not only that but Keith Williams, chair of the Williams Rail Review delivered an unmissable presentation outlining some of his changes that are set to revolutionise the rail sector as you know it.

2019 Speakers

Andrew Haines Network Rail

Andrew Haines

Chief Executive, Network Rail

Steve Montgomery

Steve Montgomery

Managing Director - Rail, First Group

Lilian Greenwood

Lilian Greenwood MP

Chair, Transport Select Committee

Alistair Gordon Keolis UK

Alistair Gordon

Chief Executive Officer, Keolis

keith williams, williams rail review, marketforcelive

Keith Williams

Chair, Williams Rail Review

Ruth Hannant | Accelerate

Ruth Hannant

Director General - Rail Group, Department for Transport

Rob McIntosh Network Rail

Rob McIntosh

Route Managing Director, LNE&EM, Network Rail

Mary Hewitt Arriva

Mary Hewitt

Strategy & Policy Director, Arriva

More Speakers

2019 Agenda

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Tuesday Tuesday, 19 March 2019


Breakfast Roundtable | Assessing the rail industry’s exposure to Brexit | Neil Robertson


Welcome Address | Philip Doyle


Chair's opening remarks | Tom Burridge

Session 1

Strengthening the system through reform

Interview | Andrew Haines, Chief Executive, Network Rail

Andrew joined Network Rail in the midst of timetabling, financial and public perception difficulties, tasked with improving operational efficiency and reliability for passengers. In this short address followed by an interview, Andrew will outline his plans for putting the interests of passengers and freight at the heart of everything Network Rail does.

Andrew Haines Network Rail
Andrew Haines

Chief Executive , Network Rail

Tom Burridge

Transport Correspondent , BBC


An update on the Williams Review: critically assessing all parts of the industry

• Allaying public anger: time for genuine change
• Demanding transformation: presenting a credible alternative to renationalisation
• What is the best possible outcome for TOCs from the Rail Review?
• Unlocking greater value and increased investment through a refreshed franchising system

keith williams, williams rail review, marketforcelive
Keith Williams

Chair , Williams Rail Review




Making the future of UK Rail a reality

• What will be the role of UK Rail be in 2050?
• What plans can we make today to build that better future?
• How will industry overcome the barriers that have held industry back in the past?

Charlotte Warburton PA Consulting
Charlotte Warburton

Global Head of Rail , PA Consulting


Entering a new control period: holding Network Rail to account

  • Explaining the ORR’s final determination on CP6
  • Ensuring devolution is embedded: the regulator’s perspective
  • What can be learnt from the findings of the timetabling inquiry?
  • Protecting the interests of passengers: working together to improve

Declan Collier, London Undergroud, Marketforce Live
Declan Collier

Chair , Office of Rail and Road

Leaders’ forum

Reforming rail to rebuild trust and improve performance

  • Reputation: what was the impact of the timetabling failure?
  • Appetite for change: hopes for the DfT’s Rail Review
  • Accelerating devolution: a new vision for the structure of UK rail
  • Putting passengers and freight first: improving day-to-day performance on a congested network
  • How can the public and private sectors work together to optimise rail?
  • What lessons can be garnered from other transport industries, in the UK and abroad?

Andrew Haines Network Rail
Andrew Haines

Chief Executive , Network Rail

Mary Hewitt Arriva
Mary Hewitt

Strategy & Policy Director , Arriva

Steve Montgomery
Steve Montgomery

Managing Director - Rail , First Group

Alistair Gordon Keolis UK
Alistair Gordon

Chief Executive Officer , Keolis

Ruth Hannant | Accelerate
Ruth Hannant

Director General - Rail Group , Department for Transport

Declan Collier, London Undergroud, Marketforce Live
Declan Collier

Chair , Office of Rail and Road



Session 2

Root and branch ticketing reform | Shaking up the franchising system

Ticketing & Passenger Experience Stage
Franchising Stage
Keynote address

What’s happening in rail? The year ahead

Paul Plummer logo
Paul Plummer

Chief Executive , Rail Delivery Group


Responding to the fares consultation: enacting change

Using the preceding keynote as a springboard, discussion amongst delegates will be facilitated on how the industry can implement the recommendations put forward in the RDG fares consultation in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Anthony Smith, Transport Focus, Accelerate
Anthony Smith

Chief Executive , Transport Focus


Making ticketing reform deliverable: the role of technology

James Bain, Wordline, Accelerate Rail
James Bain

Global Director, Transport, Mobility & e Transnational Services UK&I , Wordline

Lunch hosted PA Consulting


Hopes for the Williams Review: critically assessing all parts of the industry

• Allaying public anger: time for genuine change
• Demanding transformation: how can the rail industry support regional ambitions?
• What is the best possible outcome for Local Transport Authorities from the Rail Review?
• Unlocking greater value and increased investment through a refreshed franchising system

Dave Pearson, Accelerate rail
David Pearson

Director - Transport Services , West Yorkshire Combined Authority

In conversation | LNER

A fresh perspective: lessons from the frontline of change

Having taken over the running of the East Coast Mainline service in a temporary renationalisation in summer 2018, LNER offers an interesting, alternative model. David and Rob will bring their differing perspectives to discuss LNER’s journey and its significance for the wider rail industry

David Horn LNER
David Horne

Managing Director , LNER

Rob McIntosh Network Rail
Rob McIntosh

Route Managing Director, LNE&EM , Network Rail


Planning for the future: stimulating private investment in the railways

• What are the current investment opportunities in rail?
• Open for Business: breaking the traditional Network Rail monopoly on investment in infrastructure
• Exploring private sector feedback on MLPs
• Tapping into other sources of funding: capitalising on rail-related property
• Next steps: long-term plans for sustainable funding

David Golding, Accelerate Rail
David Golding

Director - Sponsorship and Development , Network Rail

Philip Nias, Netowrk Rail
Philip Nias – Network Rail

Corporate Finance Lead , Network Rail



Lunch hosted by PA Consulting

Session 3

Digital Railway: Transforming the network | Rolling stock fit for the modern railway | Creating a memorable experience

Ticketing & Passenger Experience Stage
Franchising Stage
Infrastructure & Signalling Stage
Out-of-industry insight | IATA

Achieving interoperability across transport modes

IATA, the aviation trade association, leads a taskforce of airlines and ground transport operators to define the standards and processes for an end consumer to purchase a seamless combined ticket. ONE Order creates a single standardised Customer Order record, facilitating product delivery and settlement between airlines and their partners. Ionut will share the progress of this project, and outline IATA’s grand vision of achieving retail orders over individual tickets.

Ionut Badea
Ionut Badea

Manager - Airline Distribution Standards , IATA


How will conversational A.I impact the future of mobility

We’ve entered a conversational era, passengers want immediate answers, 24/7, without even looking for it. In this digital age, rail operators have to adapt to the new behaviours of their travelers.
This session will focus on what is conversational A.I and present business cases from rail operators in Europe.

Guillaume Laporte - Destygo
Guillaume Laporte

Chief Executive Officer , Destygo




Smart ticketing: underpinning excellence in passenger experience

  • Passengers want smart ticketing – will the government deliver it?
  • Ensuring the best fare for the journey: pay-as-you-go travel
  • Interoperability between franchises: is a single nationwide rail ticket a possibility?
  • Putting the passenger in control: offering choice, time and freedom

Martin Moran
Martin Moran

Commercial & Customer Services Director , Greater Anglia

Panel discussion

Meeting evolving passenger expectations: implementing real change

  • What is the industry doing to ensure value for money, clarity, and ease in ticketing?
  • What is the role of technology in communications and ticketing?
  • How can TOCs enhance passenger engagement?
  • Providing redress: significance of the introduction of the rail ombudsman
  • Keeping pace with evolving travel patterns and passenger expectations
  • Planning and preparing for the passengers of tomorrow

Richard Brooks West Midlands Rail
Richard Brooks

Customer Experience Director , West Midlands Railway

Malcolm Holmes
Malcolm Holmes

Director of Rail , Transport for West Midlands
Executive Director , West Midlands Railway

Speaker placeholder
Kerri Ricketts

Head of Customer Experience , GTR

Jerry Alderson, Accelerate, RailFuture
Jerry Alderson

Director of Finance , Railfuture

Keynote address

Scrutinising the Department for Transport: ensuring rail passengers’ interests are protected

Lilian Greenwood
Lilian Greenwood MP

Chair , Transport Select Committee

Case study | Chiltern

Delivering innovative rolling-stock: adopting hybrid technologies

In the face of stalled electrification there is a continuing need for diesel trains, but how can these be modernised in order to improve efficiency and reduce emissions? Matthew will discuss the opportunities of hybrid technology in meeting these challenges, drawing on his experience at Chiltern which operates an entirely diesel fleet.

Matthew Prosser
Matthew Prosser

Engineering and Safety Director , Chiltern Railways

Panel discussion

All change: managing fleet renewal

• How sustainable is the government’s emphasis on putting new trains on the network?
• To what extent is the interplay between franchising and rolling stock tenable?
• How has electrification shaped the rolling-stock market?
• How can the industry tackle the surplus of idle off-lease trains?
• What is the future of rolling-stock financing?
• What is the role of traditional ROSCOs in an altered rolling-stock market?
• To what extent does improved passenger experience override the difficulties and cost of extensive fleet renewal?

Speaker placeholder
Chris Ham

Head of Rolling Stock Procurement , HS2

Syeda Ghufran ScotRail
Syeda Ghufran

Engineering Director , ScotRail Alliance

Mark Swindell, Rock Rail Infastructure, MarketforceLive
Mark Swindell

Chief Executive Officer , Rock Rail Holdings Limited

Mary Grant
Mary Grant

Chief Executive Officer , Porterbrook Leasing Company

Spotlight on devolution

Assessing the extent and success of devolution

Here we present perspectives from three areas of the UK, sharing their journeys as independent transport voices – what they have achieved thus far within rail and future planned projects as devolution gains pace.
Followed by joint Q+A

James Price Transport for Wales
James Price

Chief Executive Officer , Transport for Wales

Lawrence Shackman
Lawrence Shackman

Head of Rail Projects & Technical Services , Transport Scotland

Tim wood, Northern Powerhouse, Accelerate Rail Infrastructure
Tim Wood

Northern Powerhouse Rail Director , Transport for the North


Joint Q&A


Keynote address

Taking the next step in modernising the railway: moving from planning to delivery

Michael Flynn, Accelerate, The Digital Railway
Michael Flynn

Programme Director , The Digital Railway


Upgrading UK rail: technology as the backbone of increased capacity

Gary McGuire, Siemens Mobility, Accelerate Rail
Gary McGuire

Head of R&D , Siemens Mobility Limited



Digital signalling triumphs

Learning from the best

Here we present two prominent digital signalling case studies, followed by a joint Q+A.

Harnessing digital to deliver a world-class system

TfL continues its success story with the Four Lines Modernisation, which will leave just a couple of lines on the old system. Thanks to sustained investment in digital capabilities, capacity, stations, and staff duties have been transformed for the better. Chris will reflect on the results of digitalised lines and control rooms.

Delivering digital-signalling on a large scale

Our speaker will share the TOC’s journey thus far, as others also begin to make the move to long-distance inter-city digital systems.


Chris Hobden
Chris Hobden

Programme Delivery Manager – Infrastructure , London Underground

International spotlight

Learning from the European experience

The Netherlands faced similar challenges to the UK in implementing the Digital Railway: both have large and intensively used networks with legacy signalling systems. Esme will outline NS’ approach, focusing on fleet, and share lessons from its journey so far.

Esme Kalshoven
Esmé Kalshoven

Director - ERTMS , Dutch Railways


Joint Q&A

Scotland’s electrification programme

• Electrifying a live railway: overcoming the challenges
• What lessons have been learnt from carrying out electrification enhancements?
• Looking ahead: what benefits can we expect to see from the re-development?


Alan Ross
Alan Ross

Director Route Sponsorship , Network Rail


Session 4

Becoming a world leader in integrated transport

Meet & Greet

Inspiration for change: forging rail’s path towards modern mobility

With the growth of possibilities such as Mobility as a Service and connected vehicles, the transport industry and passenger’s interaction with it is rapidly evolving. In this session multiple pioneering speakers will simultaneously share their respective organisations’ visions to drive forward integrated transport in the UK, and outline rail’s critical role. In order to stimulate thought around this important topic and encourage collaboration, delegates will then be able to discuss with their chosen speaker.

Matthew Evans, TechUK, Accelerate
Matthew Evans

Policy Manager – Transport & Smart Cities , TechUK

Mick Noone Merseytravel
Mick Noone

Director of Integrated Transport , Merseytravel

Linda McCord
Linda McCord

Senior Stakeholder Manager , Transport Focus

Gordon Hanning Transport Scotland
Gordon Hanning

Head of Concessionary Travel & Integrated Ticketing , Transport Scotland

Crispin Humm
Crispin Humm

Head of Customer Journey , Rail Delivery Group

Steve Quantick
Steve Quantick

Strategic Business Director , Transport Systems Catapult

Alastair Richards

Integrated & Smart Travel Director , Transport for the North

Brittany Walcutt, Uber, Accelerate
Brittany Walcott

City Partnerships & New Mobility Strategy Lead , Uber

Closing keynote address

Future of Mobility Grand Challenge: making the UK a world leader in transport

Iain Forbes

Head of the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles , Department for Transport


Chair’s closing remarks and drinks reception

“An excellent conference that left me hopeful and excited about the future of the railway industry”

Manging Director, ScotRail Alliance

“Accelerate Rail 2018 had all the most senior UK Rail personalities either speaking or attending.It provided an excellent opportunity to gain consensus on a more collaborative and innovative approach to growing Rail’s attractiveness as the journey-method-of-choice / freight-mode-of-choice.”

Chief Operating Officer, Transport Systems Catapult

“Valuable insights from all corners of the industry.”

Correspondent, BBC

Partner with us

Connect with your audience

Our attendees tell us their aim is to make meaningful connections with solutions providers. With this in mind, we have created a range of sponsorship opportunities that can help you raise your profile and reach the right people.

We can tailor any of the following to your needs:

Thought-leadership sessions

Hospitality packages

On-site event branding

One-to-one meetings

Exhibition space

Who Attended

Build relationships with 250+ key leaders representing TOCs, NR, DfT, ORR, transport groups, associations, ROSCOs and more…

2019 Sponsors

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All tickets include:

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

Group Discount

15% off

When you buy 3 or more tickets




£795.00 + VAT


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£295.00 + VAT


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