On Friday 27th November almost 100 delegates attended our 2015 Annual Conference.

The keynote address was delivered by Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport. Reaffirming the government’s commitment to investment in rail he welcomed the forum’s name change commenting that the opportunities and challenges that devolution will bring will require a regional approach. He also talked about the skills shortage in rail and the need to develop new talent and create more apprenticeships.

Delegates then heard from Andrew Pritchard of East Midlands Councils who talked more about the opportunities associated with Government devolution, a combined authority, the opportunity presented by HS2 and specifically the East Midlands proposed Hub Station at Toton.

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Industry speakers followed including Paul Plummer, CEO of RDG; Jake Kelly, MD East Midlands Trains, Richard Hunter, MD Bombardier Transportation, Chris Swan, Senior Manager Rail Tarmac and Neil Robertson, CEO NSARE.

Following the presentation delegates then joined one of a series of discussion groups to consider issues such as Encouraging Innovation, Supporting SMEs, Developing New Talent and Collaborative Working. Comments, ideas and issues raised will be fedback to delegates in the next couple of weeks and will be used to inform the Rail Forum’s prioirities and action plans for 2016.

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Above: Dave Taylor, MD Datum leads a discussion about Support for SMEs

To view the presentations from the day please click here.

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