The Sleeper's Blog

08.04.19

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

Malcolm Holmes, Chief Director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his team are working closely with Midlands Connect to deliver on uplifting capacity and bettering services for people across the region ahead of TCR Midlands 2019.

What do your roles as Executive Director, West Midlands Rail Executive and Director of Rail, Transport for West Midlands involve?

The rail executive has a number of roles. Its purpose is fundamentally about improving people’s lives and improving connectivity for the benefit of people’s lives, the economy and the region. We do that through collaboration: a lot of my role is about building, maintaining and growing collaborative relationships, which is fundamentally important. My job is to essentially lead for rail for the West Midlands.

Can you tell us more about the 30-year strategy?

The Rail investment strategy is our look in to the future as to what we believe the capacity needs for the rail network in the West Midlands. We’ve got a lot going on now, we have a huge amount of activity that is happening over the course of the next 10 years to deliver an uplift in capacity and better services for the people in the region.

HS2 and the Midlands Rail Hub are very exciting, all bringing extra capacity into the region - so fundamentally important. The other thing I am particularly excited about is looking further into the future at some of the ambitious stuff.

Are there any projects coming up?

We have a number of projects underway, the next phase is working with Midlands Connect to try to see if there are any early wins from the Rail Midlands Hub work that they are doing to bring forwards capacity enhancements.

What is your vision for rail across the Midlands?

My vision is to create an inclusive network that people can get to, sufficient capacity for people to get to where they work, places of education to allow grandparents to visit their grandkids. It’s very much about people. And we do that by ensuring the rail network has sufficient capacity at the times that people want it and use that as part of their lives, connecting with other modes of transport to allow people to get about. I’d like to see many people across the region closely connected. I like to think that rail is more than just a means of transport, stations has a huge role in people’s communities. I’d like to see that role evolve and developed.

How integral is rail to the Midlands Engine?

It is fundamentally important because of the significant economic impact of rail. It’s hugely important both in terms of connecting people and businesses across the wider region and also allowing people to get to work. We have a congestion problem in the region. Rail helps relieve that and provides an effective way of of getting people to work. An interesting statistic is that rail is one of the dominant modes for peak time commuting in Birmingham city centre;  more people travel by rail compared to any other city other than London.

How integral is the Digital Railway to the Midlands Engine?

Digital Railway is fundamentally about two things. One is its about capacity and allowing better use, therefore our infrastructure and more trains. It’s also about giving people easy access to the railway. Allowing people to buy tickets or to get information by digital means that it is more responsive and more tailored to individuals’ lives.

Why do you think it’s important for leaders from across the region to come together at TCR Midlands?

It’s very much about collaboration, no individual organisation can do this alone. It doesn’t matter who they are, and it doesn’t matter how powerful they are. There is a need for us all together. Whether that involves all the other different parts of the rail industry, it involves the supply chain and it involves government - local, regional, and national - and it requires those parts of the industry to come together in order to allow the system that is the rail network to run effectively. It’s about leaders working together.

Fill out the form below for more information on TransCityRail Midlands 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

25/06/2019Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

Grand Central will run a new route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020, the train operator announced today. The new InterCity services... more >
Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

25/06/2019Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

Transport for Wales (TfW) has awarded three companies to begin preparatory works on the £738m South Wales Metro, the organisation announced... more >
Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, CrossCountry and the Scouts have come together to encourage Britain’s younger generations to be... more > more last word articles >
board2

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >
Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

24/06/2019Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (... more >
Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >