Leading expert speakers, interactive stands and hundreds of attendees all came together at the very first Network Rail, North West and Central Safety and Asset Management conference earlier in May. The conference at the University of Birmingham saw speakers including Professor Andrew McNaughton, Anit Chandarana from GBR as well as Non-Executive Director Rob Brighouse and safety expert Greg Morse.
The conference was a success for those involved, illuminating key areas in which the northern rail industry has achieved success. Hosting the event was Kamini Edgley, Director of Safety and Asset Management for North West and Central. She said:
“The event was fantastic – it was a chance for people across the region and beyond to come together for the first time, to celebrate our successes but also to start to move forward.
“It gave everyone the chance to remember all the things we have achieved and are achieving. They include PANDAS technology – preventing and reducing delays, improving safety. The creation of a whole new L2 assurance framework that takes a risk-based approach. Collaborating with Works Delivery and Training to design and provide additional facilities to relieve some of the pressure on training like SMTH and act as sandpit areas for the local Delivery Units.”
In the last year, North West and Central region has built, designed and started to roll out the 10 Point Plan which the conference also refenced.
The changes it brings are tangible, sustainable and have also seen,
• Over 7,800 site visits saved thanks to collaboration between Route engineering teams and Regional E&P teams. This has increased workforce safety and produced a saving of £500K
• Outstanding competencies reduced from over 22,000 to under 6,000
Conferences like these are vital for the Rail industry as they act as great opportunities for industry leaders to get together and maintain open levels of communication about present and upcoming projects. The changes addressed above are massive improvements, with the monetary savings being key to a healthy industry growth. The successes outlined from the Conference will help to guide best practices going forward as well highlight areas that can be improved upon in the future.
Kamini said: “The conference was a great success with great speakers and everyone taking away some learning and expanding their network. The positive energy with everybody coming together in person and feedback received from attendees were amazing.
“There was so much knowledge in one room with all sorts of industry experts from those with published work to the person working in the delivery unit - it was just fantastic.”
Industry leaders and those who work within rail should be paying attention to conferences such as this, in order to keep their finger on the pulse of a rapidly evolving commerce and standards of rail.