As like-minded rail leaders and decision makers gathered in Birmingham for TransCityRail Midlands 2022, there was one key conversation flowing through the room: how do we make our rail network even better? In particular, improving the passenger experience was a prominent topic of discussion among attendees.
That was mirrored in the evening panel discussion, which looked at how we can tap into some of the findings of the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) to improve passengers’ experience – from purchasing a ticket through to connecting them onto the final mile of their journeys.
Joining host Helen Fospero on the stage were:
- Nick Brown, Chairman, Urban Growth Company & Network Rail System Operator Board
- Malcolm Holmes, Executive Director, WMRE & Director of Rail, TfWM
- Karen Heppenstall, Head of Rail, Midlands Connect
- Helen Davis, Strategy and Business Development Director for Rail Infrastructure, Siemens Mobility Limited
- Dr Sonia Zahiroddiny, Head of Digital Engineering, HS2
One of the biggest parts of improving that passenger experience will be around uniting all the different stakeholders in rail in a single, positive direction – something which the panel felt the arrival of Great British Railways (GBR) was likely to assist with – and ensuring a simpler, more reliable user experience for those travelling on the railways.
Nick Brown encapsulated this, saying: “We’ve got to develop an intolerance [of delays] on behalf of our passengers.”