Virtual Conference

Rail Freight Group Conference

Wednesday 14 October 2020


Networking time
Chair’s welcome and opening remarks
Maggie Simpson OBE
Director General
Rail Freight Group
Part 1: Rail reform and the impact on freight: preparing as a sector for an evolving network
Message from Rail Minister on Government commitment and support for development of rail and rail freight growth
  • Proposals and progress with rail reform
  • Investment in rail
Chris Heaton-Harris MP
Minister of State
Network Rail update: Plans for the freight network
  • Providing freight pathways and improving capacity
  • Progress with improvements in CP6
  • Further plans to reduce bottlenecks on the network
  • Recent restructure and how the freight industry can engage with Network Rail
Andy Saunders
Delivery Director
Network Rail
ORR update: Supporting freight and helping to deliver freight growth
  • Regulation in rail freight
Declan Collier
Office of Rail and Road
Morning networking and break
Panel discussion: Plans for rail reforms and what these mean for rail freight
  • What do the proposals mean for freight?
  • Where are the opportunities and challenges of the reforms?
  • What does the freight sector need to do to prepare for changes?
Kathryn Oldale
Head of Strategy, Policy and Communications
DB Cargo
Peter Graham
Head of Rail Strategy
Jonathan Chatfield
Head of Policy (Freight and Stations)
Rail Delivery Group
Operator update: Priorities, focus and opportunities for 2020 and beyond
  • Opportunities and markets to explore in 2020 and the future
  • Growth plans and development
  • Responding to changes in the rail sector
Liam Day
Commercial Director
GB Railfreight
Networking lunch
Part 2: Devolution and the opportunities for freight
Further regional devolution: What are the plans for freight development?
  • What does further devolution mean for rail freight?
  • Plans and investment in rail freight schemes
  • Opportunities for freight development
  • How rail can help build regional growth

10 minute updates from each speaker followed by panel discussion

Richard Mann
Rail Strategy Lead
Midlands Connect
Martin Tugwell
Programme Director; President
England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance; CIHT
Importance of investing in rail freight at ports
  • Responding to changing trade routes and patterns
  • The importance for improved inland routes and connections
Lee Armstrong
Group Head of Commercial (Rail)
Associated British Ports
Afternoon networking and break
Delivering port growth development and the associated freight benefits
  • The possible use of free ports
  • Developing and investing in improving rail connectivity
Richard Ballantyne
Chief Executive
British Ports Association
Part 3: Responding to the 2040 decarbonisation targets – the challenges and opportunities for rail freight
Decarbonisation – the opportunities and challenges for rail freight
  • The future competition road could offer rail in terms of sustainability and carbon emissions – how can rail remain competitive?
  • The rise of electric vehicles and what this means for rail freight - timelines and the potential for HGVs
  • Ensuring rail keeps offering environmental benefits
Andrew Kluth
Lead Carbon Specialist
Jonathan Brown
Technical and Innovation Engagement Lead
Chair’s closing remarks
Close of conference and networking time

*All sessions include time for Q & A*

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