Editor's Comment

01.02.16

A new direction of travel

Source: RTM Feb/Mar 16

The much-anticipated Shaw Report had not been published when RTM went to press, but the potential direction of travel for Network Rail’s future had been widely reported, with the infrastructure owner looking at options to sell off stations and electrical power assets. 

Since Network Rail’s reclassification as a public sector body in 2014, it hasn’t been plain sailing for the organisation, especially with major works being pushed from CP5 into CP6 following the Hendy Review and the company’s debt estimated to reach £50bn by the end of the decade. 

While the headline recommendations of Nicola Shaw’s report are not yet known, it seems highly unlikely that she will endorse keeping Network Rail entirely under public control. 

Moving away from the politics of rail, this special edition of RTM includes a comprehensive review of the UK Rail Industry Awards, held at Battersea Evolution in London on 11 February. 

Thanks to all the sponsors, judges, the guests who attended and those who were nominated or entered the Awards. The evening was, once again, a huge success. The audience even raised a staggering £30,000 for our chosen charity, ChildLine. It is fair to say this generosity surprised not only us, but one of our special guests: Dame Esther Rantzen, the charity’s founder. 

This edition of RTM also features our Infrarail Preview, which starts on page 99, and tells you all you need to know about the things to see, hear, do and experience at this year’s show. 

The RTM team – as always – will be there at the ExCeL, talking to readers, advertisers and friends. You can find us on stand B31. Across the three days of the show, we will also be hosting The Platform sessions, bringing together industry leaders to discuss three key topics: Skills & Training, Supply Chain Engagement, and Infrastructure Planning. 

Throughout this edition you can really feel the sense of change sweeping across the sector. For instance, Terence Watson, industry chair of the Rail Supply Group, sets out the ambitious plans for delivering a sustainable future for rail, while London Underground’s David Waboso reflects on how changes to the Victoria Line have delivered a ‘world-class’ and reliable service for the capital. There is also a very interesting section focusing on the direction of travel for ticketing, in particular the concept of ‘personalisation’. 

I would also like to say a big well done to Northern Rail’s Roger Houldsworth who recently completed an RTM survey about the rail industry, and won £100 worth of Amazon Vouchers in our prize draw.

David Stevenson

Editor

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