Editor's Comment

17.01.17

Rising to the digital demand

Source: Dec/Jan 17

The countdown is well and truly on for this year’s UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA), and the whole RTM team is looking forward to welcoming you to the fourth edition of this event on 9 February. 

Held once again at Battersea Evolution, the prestigious awards ceremony promises to be an extraordinary evening, celebrating some of the major achievements of the industry in the last year.

You can see the awards shortlist on pages 27-29, and read more details at ukria.com. If you still haven’t booked your ticket to attend on the night, then please contact us on: 0161 833 6320 or get in touch via the website.

As well as providing a preview to UKRIA, this edition of RTM includes a comprehensive review of the recently held TransCityRail North black-tie networking dinner and the inaugural Northern Powerhouse Rail Conference, which featured presentations from senior individuals at Network Rail, Transport for the North (TfN) and many more. 

One of the key discussion points to come out of the event was around the role of digital and the supply chain going forward. On page 30, David Waboso, managing director of Group Digital Railway, gives RTM an update on the work that is taking place to deliver a series of strategic outline business cases in this area by the spring, while my colleague Luana Salles talks to Kevin Ives, digital transformation director at Arriva UK Trains, about the company’s ongoing Digital Train programme (see page 34). We also hear from academics at the University of Birmingham on page 38 about the role big data can play in transforming the country’s railways. 

The industry, as we all know, is slowly but surely getting on board with the rising demand for digital. In the area of asset management, Network Rail discusses the next steps in the ORBIS programme to deliver a number of digital asset tools, and the infrastructure owner’s head of maintenance, Tim Flower, explains, how a new approach for condition monitoring is being adopted to maximise return on investment while improving workforce safety. 

This edition of RTM also features a number of thought-provoking articles from key decision-makers, including David Brown, CEO at TfN, who discusses what the government’s recent command paper announcement for phase 2b of HS2 means (more on page 22), and David Sidebottom from Transport Focus, on page 96, explains how a number of initiatives aim to make rail fares simpler and cheaper over the next 12 months.

David Stevenson

Editor

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