28th Annual (2020)

Rail Freight Group Conference

Wednesday 14 October 2020


Registration and refreshments
Chair’s welcome and opening remarks
Maggie Simpson
Director General
Rail Freight Group
Part 1: Rail reform and the impact on freight: preparing as a sector for an evolving network
Opening address: Government commitment and support for development of rail and rail freight growth
  • Proposals and progress with rail reform
  • Investment in rail
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
ORR update: Supporting freight and helping to deliver freight growth
  • Regulation in rail freight
Declan Collier
Office of Rail and Road
Morning refreshments
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?
John Thomas
Director of Policy
Rail Delivery Group
Speaker from
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
Senior Rail Programme Manager
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
Afternoon refreshments
Delivering port growth development and the associated freight benefits
  • The possible use of free ports
  • Developing and investing in improving rail connectivity
Part 3: Responding to the 2040 decarbonisation targets – the challenges and opportunities for rail freight
Delivering the fleet of 2040 and beyond: Progress and innovation needed
  • Innovations and advancements – what progress is being made and what new technologies are emerging?
  • Possible fuels and requirements for future rolling stock
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 – Rail
Chair’s closing remarks
Close of conference and networking drinks

*All sessions include time for Q & A*

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