The Technical Seminar programme, arranged and hosted by Rail Engineer, gives Railtex exhibitors the opportunity to talk about their latest developments to an enquiring and knowledgeable audience.
At the last Railtex exhibition, in 2017, over 1,000 visitors attended at least one of the seminar sessions. With the number and quality of presentations arranged for 2019, that number could well increase.
Then there will be three important industry keynote speeches. Unfortunately, Baroness Rona Fairhead resigned from the government one week before Railtex, so changes were needed.
Gordon Wakeford, the head of Siemens Mobility in the UK, will open the show and deliver a keynote speech on the first day. As well as his responsibilities with Siemens, Gordon is also co-chair of the Rail Supply Group and as such, working with a team that included Philip Hoare of Atkins and Anna Delvecchio of Amey (who will also be part of the show’s opening ceremony), he was instrumental in developing the Rail Sector Deal.
This joint initiative between the rail industry and government, including the Departments for Transport, Business and International Trade, aims to transform the rail sector by taking actions to increase the use of digital technology, boost productivity, improve the service received by those who use the railways and build the skills of the UK workforce to capitalise on these opportunities.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines has recently announced that he will be moving the company further into devolution, pushing most responsibilities out to five regions and 13 routes. One of the areas affected will be the Group Digital Railway initiative, which will become much more decentralised. The man responsible for overseeing that is new Digital Railway managing director Stuart Calvert, and he will be speaking on the third day of the show.
Andy McDonald is not only MP for Middlesbrough, he is also Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. He will close the three-day seminar programme, speaking on Labour’s plans for rail – a most-interesting way to end the UK’s major rail industry show.
The seminar programme in detail: