image of the three panel participants with event host Helen Fospero

Resilience too important to ignore for leaders

Industry Leaders and suppliers from across the UK have been in Birmingham today for the Trans City Midlands conference, supported by Rail Technology Magazine.

For the first panel discussion of the day, the conversation centred around the importance of rail resilience, and why it is so important.

Currently, the Department for Transport is working on the Rail Resilience Strategy, improving the industry’s understanding of how it will be able to cope with wider global issues. Without resilience, transport’s role as a platform for society begins to fail and has the potential to lead to further issues in education, employment, leisure, and the delivery of essential services. Touching on the importance of resilience was Tim Norton, Head of Rail Resilience and Response at the Department for Transport, who said:

“Resilience is too important to ignore. If we ignore it, it will definitely come back and bite us.

“All we need to do is start building resilience into how we work every day, like how we built passive safety measures in so that we don’t even see them, we don’t even take account of them. We need to build resilience into how we do our work.”

One way of ensuring that the industry is correctly placed to deal with anything that might cause disruption, is by using data to establish the direction that resilience planning needs to travel. Despite the significance of utilising data more, the knowledge is not held by one single organisation. This means that organisations across the rail sector, and even wider will be required to share the information they hold for the wider benefit of the industry.

Sharon Lee, Director at  Arup, spoke about how current law and legislation might be getting in the way of organisations sharing data with each other. She said:

“I’m sure there will be laws and legislation that preclude sharing of certain amounts of data. I think as leaders we need to find a way of fixing that, a lot of the time it is about having that conversation, asking for permission.

“It probably needs to be a bit more bold, ask less for permission and more for forgiveness and see what happens.”


For more key insight from the rail industry’s leaders, follow Rail Technology Magazine’s coverage of Transcity Rail Midlands 2024


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TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


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The South of England accounts for a significant portion of the UK’s rail investment strategy and is home to 7 sub-national transport bodies that have all placed rail infrastructure at the centre of their strategic investment plans.

Every year industry leaders from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, major contractors and transport bodies converge at the TransCityRail SOUTH conference, exhibition and networking dinner for a day of collaboration, conversation and engagement.

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