Midlands Engine

18.07.19

Maria Machancoses: TCR Midlands drives new way of collaboration

Leading sector figure Maria Machancoses has described the inaugural TransCityRail Midlands conference in Birmingham as a fresh way to “drive a new way of collaboration and new way of thinking.”

The director of Midlands Connect enthused about the first Vox Conference Centre event and revealed her plans to use the annual forum to further collaborate with stakeholders in the years to come.

Looking to the future and welcoming the conference to the Midlands, she said: “TransCityRail Midlands is going to showcase the most exciting ventures we’re going to see here in the Midlands moving forwards.”

“TransCityRail Midlands is going to be the greatest in the years to come because there is so much going on in the region, and because there is so much debate about the future of the digital railway.

“I believe it is going to drive a new way of collaboration and a new way of thinking that is going to be so important for all of us, as we move forwards into a more global state.

“Midlands Connect is extremely delighted to have TCR for the first time here in the Midlands.”

The director of Midlands Connect, who has a liaison role in the industry bridging organisations and new thinking, told how she has used the growth of the northern rail industry as inspiration.

She added: “We have looked on jealously at how the north has come together through organisations like Transport for the North and how the northern rail sector has developed.

“To have TCR here in the Midlands is extremely important for us because the future of rail in the Midlands is more important than ever.

“There’s a lot of debate around HS2 and what will happen to our conventional network, and this will open up new, much needed capacity in the Midlands.

“Midlands Connect is working really hard to design what our network will look like not only in the next ten years, but over the twenty- or thirty-year period.

“Given the skills and magnificent base of the rail industry in the midlands – we have one the largest rail industry chain clusters here – bigger than anywhere in the continent.

“How you go about designing and planning the future and delivering is extremely important.”

The Midlands rail sector key figure also looked ahead to the coming years and how TransCityRail Midlands could develop further.

She concluded: “We want this event to be the beginning of a very special relationship between Midlands Connect and the rail industry. We want this event to be the platform, the starting point where people can get excited about what we have in mind.

“I am confident that the way we are engaging here today will establish an ongoing relationship not only with the north, but with the north and south and rest of the country.”

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