The latest episode of the Rail Technology Magazine Podcast features Danny Vaughan, the Head of Metrolink in Manchester.
Danny has worked in light rail for 25 years and has overseen expansion projects across the city – Including the recently opened Trafford Park Line.
He discusses how light rail offers options and flexibility where mainline rail cannot, the hopeful future of TfGM’s all encompassing Bee Network, which hopes to change and simplify how transport in Manchester works and Metrolink’s place in that future.
Danny also expands on his experience, how he hopes for a better transport system and what he thinks technology within the industry can achieve.
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Episode 56: Pushing forward innovation in Rail – Vaibhav Puri
31:34In this episode of the Rail Technology Magazine Podcast, we chat to Vaibhav Puri, Director of Sector Strategy and Transformation at the Rail Safety and Standards Board.Vaibhav discusses in detail the role of the RSSB in how innovation in rail should be regulated and controlled and what needs to be done to make it as much an environment for innovation and technological transformation as possible.But as the industry gets to grips with the changing world around it, it also wrestles with how to look after the data it inevitably will handle and Vaibhav discusses how best to handle data, the framework that need to exist to ensure privacy is in place and the capabilities of emerging technologies to change how the industry works with it.Vaibhav is an influential voice in the evolution of the UK and EU railway legislation, including supporting the Department for Transport and the sector in transitioning seamlessly to a post-EU exit legal landscape and he explains how his role has evolved as the industry navigates its way through the changes that are happening.Artificial intelligence is also discussed and we chat about its new role and its vast capabilities to fundamentally change the way rail looks in the future.But with great change, there is a race to ensure that the industry adjusts appropriately and the wider rail community are on board and up-to-date, Vaibhav discusses how the board are reacting and proactively helping facilitate these changes.We also discuss technology advancements in rail since Vaibhav started his role at RSSB and also what regulation frameworks might need to happen once Great British Railways is established.
Episode 55: Rail revenue in the age of Great British Railways – Suzanne Donnelly
27:06In this episode of the Rail Technology Magazine Podcast, we chat to Suzanne Donnelly, Director of Passenger Revenue at Great British Railway Transition Team. Great British Railways has a remit to fundamentally change the way that rail in this country is run. It has at its core, a programme of change for the network, and how it can be the best in class for passengers and the industry.Suzanne discusses the role that GBRTT will play in this change, and the steps that are being put in place to ensure that passengers and operators can embrace the future for rail and work together.But how does the industry do this? Suzanne explains the initiatives that GBRTT have spearheaded since the transition began, including the enormously successful Great British Sale and the ticketing technology that is being implemented on certain routes.But Suzanne also looks to the future, and how revenue generation and the passenger are forming an integral part of GBRTT’s mission to fuse the industry together into a common focus.Suzanne has 16 years of experience in various commercial roles within the transport industry and is uniquely placed to offer insight into how rail can adopt technology, and commercial strategies to grow its revenue and sustainability. The podcast offers a great opportunity to hear how the future could look and how the present is looking for passengers and freight on the UK rail network
Ep 54. Sharpening the commercial focus of rail – Interview with Alicia Andrews
26:51In this episode of the Rail Technology Magazine Podcast, we chat to Alicia Andrews, commercial director at Southeastern. Alicia is in charge of the commercial arm of one of Britain’s biggest operators on one of the Britain’s busiest lines.How can operators innovate and keep nimble in such a cost driven environment? Alicia explains how Southeastern tackle this and its plans to keep their focus on innovation.Revenue generation and passenger habits also take centre stage as we discuss how Southeastern have navigated the changing face of the commuter and the impact it has had on a broadly commuter-centric operator.As Alicia explains, striking the right balance between delivering for the passenger and delivering for the business means research, development and innovation is a challenge unique to rail. And she discusses how Southeastern approach this.But, bringing change and sharpening the commercial eye of train operators is a task which is not unique just to Southeastern as collaboration and the sharing of ideas within the industry means everybody benefits.The podcast is a unique insight into how an operator approaches its commercial operations and what it sees its future role in the industry is.
Ep 53: The challenges of Rail Recruitment - Kenny Burton, Matchtech Group
31:46In this episode of the Rail Technology Magazine Podcast, we chat to Rail Director at STEM recruitment specialists, Matchtech about the challenges facing the industry in recruiting across the multiple different sectors currently and how the industry and the specialisms within rail have changed over the years and how it is still evolving.But we also discuss what can be done to alleviate the talent crunch that is affecting rail, how the industry can become more attractive to prospective talent and making sure that all the gaps in infrastructure can be filled.But also, Kenny discusses how recruitment within rail fits into the bigger picture on some of the most important infrastructure projects this country are currently working on.
Ep 52: TransCityRail North 2023 - Leaders Debate - 'Carbon Management Leadership - how are we meeting the challenges of leading Whole Life Carbon based decisions' - In partnership with ARUP
29:23This episode brought to you by Arup takes a further look at how the industry is tackling decarbonisation and managing the competing voices and interests when deciding on how to manage it. This panel discuss how the rail sector asks if the industry is doing everything it can to hit the targets set from across the wider rail sector – From civils and construction, through the supply chain and the operators. It also details how decarbonisation is tackled currently and how suppliers can become part of a wider effort to drive down emissions.Panellists on this debate are;Andy Belcham, Director, ArupAnna Humphries, Head of Sustainability and Social Value, Network RailSarah Jolliffe, Environmental Sustainability Business Partner, BAMThis is the fourth and final episode of the leaders debate series taken from TransCity Rail North 2023, which was held in Manchester in November. The Leaders Debate's cover diverse challenges from across rail - Including cost management, collaboration and decarbonisation and how to manage it.
Ep 51: TransCityRail North 2023 - Leaders Debate - How can the rail industry collaborate to drive regional growth? - brought to you by West Coast Partnership
30:56This episode brought to you by West Coast Partnership brings together some of the leading voices in regional rail for another one of TCR North’s Leader’s Debate. This panel discuss how the rail sector can collaborate with regional economies to drive growth and increase productivity and take a further look into how transport infrastructure can play a vital role in connecting people, businesses, and communities.It also explores how the session can increase the voice of rail when policy makers discuss the national transport needs.Panellists on this debate are;Nick Smith, Regional Growth Manager, West Coast PartnershipAndrew Dixon, Head of High Speed Rail - Infrastructure Delivery & Development Programme, Manchester City CouncilSimon Elliott, Head of Rail, Transport for Greater ManchesterChris Coleman, Industry Programme Director, Network Rail
Ep 50: TransCityRail North 2023 Leaders Debate 2 - Collaborative working driving affordability
32:18The needs of customers and the industry at large forms the heart of this debate, as the panel discuss where ensuring the industry needs are in sync with the passengers needs. Of course, to deliver on these improvements, requires budget – And the panel produce a lively debate on where and how spending should be prioritised in a time of restricted budgets and a stiff economic climate.Panellists on this debate are;James Corker, Rail Sector Director, Skanska UK PLCPaul Harwood, Programme Director, GBRTTElena Stebbings, Project Director, Mott MacDonaldAndrew Inskip, Senior Estimator, Severfield PLC
Ep 49: TransCityRail North 2023 Leaders Debate - Putting Passengers First - Brought to you by Mott MacDonald
27:43Join us in our first leaders debate from TransCity Rail North 2023, brought to you by Mott MacDonald, where our panellists discuss how putting passengers first can reframe the conversation for the North and deliver better outcomes for both the industry and the passengersPanellists on this debate are;Karen Heppenstall, Head of Rail, Midlands ConnectTricia Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Northern TrainsDarren Oldham, Rail and Road Director, Transport for the NorthKen Norbury, Transportation Unit General Manager, Mott MacDonaldJessica Patterson, Buildings & Cities Social Outcomes Lead, Mott MacDonald
Ep 48. TransCityRail South 2023 - Leaders Debate - AI Technology in the Rail Industry
29:22In the final episode of our TCR South 2023 Leaders Debate series, we take a look at one of the hottest topics – AI TechnologyDigitising the railway, complex route networks, tight timetables and growing passenger numbers, IoT and AI artificial will play a major role in the future of the rail industry. This discussion covers all of the major talking points on how AI will affect and eventually change rail.Panellists on this debate are;Brad Smith Head of Public & Passenger Safety, Network RailVaibhav Puri, Director Future Labs, Rail Safety & Standards BoardDanny Gonzalez, Digital Experience Transformation Director, GBRTT
Ep 47: TransCityRail South 2023 - Leaders Debate - Southern Integrated Delivery
27:59In episode three of our TCR South 2023 Leaders Debate series, the ambitious Southern Integrated Delivery takes centre stage.The debate looks at the southern regions huge £9 billion renewals programme and the trailblazing alliance that has been brought together to achieve it.The detailed conversation looks at how it was formed, its approach and the opportunities across the whole of the region that the programme aims to deliver. Panellists on this debate are;Tim Coucher, Alliance Director, Network Rail Sian Thomas, Director of Engineering and Asset Management, Southern Region, Network RailPaul Jones, Operations Director, VolkerRailWill Rule, Ecosystem Lead, SRE (Avista Strategy)