“In terms of modernising, we need to keep pace with change. There is so much change happening around society, and we need to keep pace with what society expects and what technology can offer.”
That was the view of Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) Director of Sustainable Development George Davies, as he addressed a RAIL webinar on November 17.
The webinar, which was the fourth in RAIL’s Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail series, focused on Accelerating innovation and modernisation.
Davies continued: “In the next few years, Mobility as a Service will really take off… we need people to take the train as part of their overall mobility service proposition.
“Just like you pay for your broadband or mobile phone subscription, you’ll want to be able to take a short journey to the station by electric vehicle and transfer to a train hassle-free by a single digital ticket. We really need to think hard about the railways not as trains and track, but as a technology-enabled means of moving people and goods from point to point.”
Network Rail’s Helen McAllister (Strategy and Planning Director, System Operator) enhanced Davies’ point by explaining that the way people think in society has changed over the past few decades. Whereas in the past people were happy to accept what they were given, they now expect more in every aspect of their lives.
“People’s expectations of transport have changed,” she said.
NR’s Rob McIntosh (Managing Director, Eastern Region and Executive Sponsor of Project SPEED) took the discussion a stage further: “Modernisation is about keeping up with how society is changing. Innovation is about getting ahead of how society is changing and getting ahead of the curve.”
The discussion turned to some of the barriers that prevent innovation making its way into the railway.
You can watch this or any of the previous episodes in RAIL’s Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail series on catch-up, via https://www.railmagazine.com/events.
The next episode takes place on December 3, on Great British Railways and the 30-year strategy, with the following speakers:
■ Sir Peter Hendy CBE (Chairman, Network Rail).
■ Andrew Haines OBE (Chief Executive, Network Rail).
■ Elaine Seagriff (Programme Director, Strategic Planning & Whole Industry Strategic Plan, GBRTT).
■ Mary Grant (CEO, Porterbrook).
■ Mark Phillips (CEO, RSSB).
■ Hannah Moxon (Chief of Staff and Head of Public Affairs, Rail Delivery Group).
Register for your free place here: https://bit.ly/GBRStrategyWebinar
To read the full story, see RAIL 945