The leading event for the UK rail industry

Formerly known as The Future of Rail

19 March 2019

Hilton Tower Bridge, Tooley Street, London








Accelerate: Rail 2019formerly known as The Future of Rail, brings together key decision makers to examine emerging opportunities and challenges shaping the industry.

This event attracts major UK TOCs, transport groups, ROSCOs,the DfT,the ORR, NR and and key industry influencers for a day of open conversation and debate. With three stages, the 2019 edition offers more content than ever before to ensure you gain actionable insights to take back to your organisation.


Infrastructure & Signalling Stage

Funding and delivering major projects, and implementing digital signalling

Franchising Stage

Key issues shaping TOC strategy – franchising, rolling-stock and devolution

Ticketing & Passenger Experience Stage

Innovations in ticketing and excellence in passenger experience

“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


Andrew Haines Network Rail

Andrew Haines

Chief Executive, Network Rail

Steve Montgomery First Group

Steve Montgomery

Managing Director - Rail, First Group

Mary Hewitt Arriva

Mary Hewitt

Strategy & Policy Director, Arriva

Alistair Gordon Keolis UK

Alistair Gordon

Chief Executive Officer, Keolis

Lilian Greenwood

Lilian Greenwood MP

Chair, Transport Select Committee

Rob McIntosh Network Rail

Rob McIntosh

Route Managing Director, LNE&EM, Network Rail

Paul Plummer logo

Paul Plummer

Chief Executive, Rail Delivery Group

Barry White Transport for the North

Barry White

Chief Executive, Transport for the North

More Speakers


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Tuesday Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Breakfast roundtable


Assessing the rail industry’s exposure to Brexit: opportunities and challenges

How will the UK rail workforce be impacted by the Brexit negotiations, and to what extent is the industry prepared for change? With a clear training gap combined with strong wage inflation and a hefty infrastructure pipeline to deliver, a robust workforce has never been more important. What opportunities does Brexit present for increased efficiencies? Neil will share the NSAR’s research on this critical topic, and then facilitate delegate discussion to enable better preparedness, over coffee and pastries.

Neil Robertson National Skills Academy for Rail
Neil Robertson

Chief Executive Officer , National Skills Academy for Rail

Session 1

Strengthening the system through reform

Keynote opening address

Overhauling the railway for the benefit of passengers and the economy


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.

Speaker placeholder
Tom Burridge

Transport Correspondent , BBC

Andrew Haines Network Rail
Andrew Haines

Chief Executive , Network Rail


A bright future: successfully managing change


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

Senior Leadership, 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 First Group
Steve Montgomery

Managing Director - Rail , First Group

Alistair Gordon Keolis UK
Alistair Gordon

Chief Executive Officer , Keolis

Session 2

Funding and delivering major projects | Shaking up the franchising system | Root and branch ticketing reform

Funding and delivering major projects | Infrastructure & Signalling Stage
Shaking up the franchising system | Franchising Stage
Root and branch ticketing reform | Ticketing & Passenger Experience Stage

Crossrail: transforming transport through central London

  • Combining great infrastructure and operations
  • Delivering a complex engineering scheme
  • Revamping the journey to Heathrow: providing choice for passengers
  • Looking ahead: future plans for Crossrail extension

Jeremy Long MTR
Jeremy Long

Chief Executive – European Business , MTR Corporation


A solid foundation: building in resilience and efficiency to new infrastructure


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


Hopes for the Rail 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


Making the case for increased flexibility and re-distribution risk in the franchising system



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

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

Chief Executive , Transport Focus


Making ticketing reform deliverable: the role of technology





Session 3

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

Digital Railway: transforming the network | Infrastructure & Signalling Stage
Rolling stock fit for the modern railway | Franchising Stage
Creating a memorable experience | Ticketing & Passenger Experience Stage
Keynote address

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


Upgrading UK rail: technology as the backbone of increased capacity

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.



Joint Q&A

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

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


Standing out from the crowd: building the next generation of trains



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

Speaker placeholder
Mark Swindell

Partner , Rock Rail Infrastructure

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

Barry White Transport for the North
Barry White

Chief Executive , Transport for the North

Lawrence Shackman
Lawrence Shackman

Head of Rail Projects & Technical Services , Transport Scotland

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


A roadmap for success in the new age of ticketing




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, Marketing & Customer Services Director , Abellio 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

Keynote address

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

Lilian Greenwood
Lilian Greenwood MP

Chair , Transport Select Committee

Session 4

Becoming a world leader in integrated transport - Chaired by Karla Jakeman, Innovation Lead - Connected Transport, Innovate UK

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.

Jessica Russell TechUK
Jessica Russell

Programme 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

Steve Quantick
Steve Quantick

Strategic Business Director , Transport Systems Catapult

Alastair Richards

Integrated & Smart Travel Director , Transport for the North

Crispin Humm
Crispin Humm

Head of Customer Journey , Rail Delivery Group

Speaker placeholder
Brittany Walcott

City Partnerships & New Mobility Strategy Lead , Uber


The future of transport: enabling seamless door-to-door journeys for passengers

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

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

2018 Highlights

Who Attends

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


All tickets include:

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

Group Discount

15% off

When you buy 3 or more tickets


TOCs & Public Sector*

save £300 Early Bird Until 14 December

£295.00 + VAT

Full Price £595.00 + VAT

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