Latest Rail News

13.05.15

‘Industry must do better to deliver value’

The rail industry has progressed and improved in recent years, but we must do more to deliver greater value, Keith Jordan, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe told an audience at Railtex.

He said that, fundamentally, we as an industry are here to transport people and products around the world safely, cost-effectively and comfortably. “Trains and track are only a part of that system; they are the enablers of that system,” he noted.

However, Jordan identified that there are issues and problems. “We are under pressure to be more competitive. We are not seen as good value by most governments or good value for money by passengers. We are responding to that, but we must do more.”

During his speech he called for a whole-system approach to railway engineering.

“We are here to move passengers around. A train won’t move without assistance without the track and signalling and that is what I mean by the whole system. We are all part of it,” he said.

“With a ‘One System’ approach I think we can grow and not shrink; increase efficiency, cut costs and reduce the duplication of effort. We can also increase value for money.”

Asked what has been a barrier to this, Jordan, who has worked for 30 years in rail, said historically it was competition.

“Everybody was scared about sharing knowledge and products and giving information away,” he explained. “When I joined it was a very combative approach to everything you did. The major players, for instance, didn’t care about SMEs.

“However, I think we’ve grown out of that now and become more mature as an industry and businesses. Now we are talking much more with each other. We know when to stop talking and not share secrets. But there is a much more open dialogue throughout the industry.

“We can’t all provide the one answer. Sometimes we can provide a better answer by working together and I think we are much more open now. We still need to do more of this.”

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