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12.05.15

Railtex 2015: Day One Live Blog

Refresh this page for RTM’s continuing coverage of day one of Railtex 2015.

17.02

That's it for day one of our Railtex 2015 live blog. Make sure you check in with us tomorrow for updates from day two.

16.45

The first day of Railtex 2015 is winding down, people are tweeting about their productive days and are excited for what is to come tomorrow. Here’s a short roundup:

16.13

16.04

15.46

15.42

A few snaps from taken around Railtex this afternoon:

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14.54

A tweet round up of some of the things going on around Railtex this afternoon:

14.33

RMT has announced that it's members have voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of the first national rail strike in a generation. Read RTM's coverage here.

14.29

14.05

14.00

RTM earlier asked Anna Walker, chair of the ORR (the Office of Rail & Road, formerly the Office of Rail Regulation), whether the delays in one major infrastructure upgrade – electrification – give her concerns about the acceleration of another complex infrastructure upgrade programme – resignalling via the Digital Railway. We can now give you her answer in full:

“You’re absolutely right about some of the delays in electrification. We do need to recognise that the electrification projects we’ve got at the moment are major and that we haven’t done it for a long time. We have indeed faced some real challenges in relation to them. We are actively working with Network Rail at the moment as to what we can learn. Let’s turn the problems that we’ve had into a positive.

“There are questions for us about the definition of the costs in the first place, the planning, and then the delivery. They raise different issues.

“Nobody can be confident that a future major programme is going to go without blips – in fact I can be confident it will have blips. But what I can say is, there is an enormous will among people to come together to understand where things haven’t been where we wanted them to be at the moment, and to recover that for this price control period, but crucially then to plan ahead for more than [this] one price control period. The kind of programmes we’re talking about, you can’t plan in five-year chunks. You’ve got to plan five, 10, 15, 20, years in advance.

“It’s going to be tough. And I think it will have ups and downs, but actually I’ve got confidence that between us, we can do it.” 

12.51

The big Garrandale news is big indeed. Colin Walton, former Bombardier and RIA chair, is joining the company as a non-executive director.

They have also announced they will be doing work on Controlled Emission Toilets for Southern’s class 465s.

12.28

Meanwhile over at the RTM stand...

What could it be? 

12.26

12.24

Parry-Jones answers some questions from the audience:

12.02

More from Parry-Jones, he said there has been a huge amount of catch-up in renewals and creating capacity after decades of under-investment but the day to day running costs are dropping.

He adds that CP5 cannot be delivered without those in the supply chain and calls for closer collaboration with suppliers.

Long-term collaboration will give rail businesses confidence and allow them to invest in skills, recruitment and innovation.

11.52

Richard Parry-Jones is back to give his keynote speech, having only supplied a taster earlier. He said he wants to talk about not just long-term innovation, but that which will be necessary in CP5.

He admits that electrification is proving to be a huge challenge, but then swiftly moves on to a success story, the Birmingham New Street rebuild.

11.45

Visitors at the Hitachi stand at Railtex. RTM has an interview tomorrow with Hitachi on what they're demonstrating.

11.24

 More from Anna Walker:

11.15

Anna Walker from the ORR is speaking at the Knowledge Hub on "how regulation can help innovation". She said she'd "absolutely understand" if rail businesses think less reg equals more innovation, but she adds that without regulation, what we all want to see delivered in the rail industry won't be achieved.

Walker said that customer expectations are rising now that passengers are now paying 60% of the costs of running the railway. The big challenges now are growth and capacity. 

On rail innovation funding she said it is "a drop in the ocean, but it is there". She pointed to money from the RSSB and Network Rail that went to FutureRailway. 

Walker said that the ORR tries to ensure that government money flows into the industry evenly to avoid peaks and troughs. 

11.03

Our editor, Adam Hewitt, is getting his exercise in today.

10.56

Richard Parry-Jones chose to make the Bombardier stand his first stop on a tour of the exhibitors. 

10.54

10.51

The chairman of Network Rail, Richard Parry-Jones, was the final speaker of the opening ceremony. He said that the show is a great route to market.

"I'm an absolute technology geek", he added. "It transforms lives."

He does not worry that rail growth will slow, but is more worried that the industry is under-providing capacity for future demand.

10.46

Jeremy Candfield from the Railway Industry Association (RIA) spoke next at the opening ceremony. He said that with 468 exhibitors from 20 countries it was the biggest Railtex show in 10 years. He added that research and innovation is not just the domain of large companies, some of the most exciting work is coming from SMEs.

10.36

The opening ceremony has kicked off with Stephen Brooks, from event organisers Mack Brooks, speaking first. He says the event is 10% bigger than last year. He also confirms the returning transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, will be at the show later in the week. 

10.24

10.02

And the doors are open!

09.59

Exhibitors have been tweeting all morning, eager to show off their stands. Here are some of the most interesting:

And of course, our very own!

09.55

It’s almost time, the doors are about to open!

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