First UK version of RailFreight Webinar on 1 May

Salford Quays in the centre of Greater Manchester, where the RailFreight Summit UK will be held in early April

On Friday 1 May the first UK edition of the RailFreight Webinar takes place. The main topic: capacity for freight: planning for growth in the new reality. The impact of the coronavirus on UK’s rail freight business will also be discussed. Participation in the webinar is free of charge.  

This Friday, a panel of industry leaders will have the opportunity to share their understanding, and to put their points of view. Registered delegates will be able to put their opinions and questions to the panel, live on the day.

Maggie Simpson leads the Rail Freight Group. Why join is not one of the questions up for debate on Friday (image Simon Walton)

Maggie Simpson

The director general of the Rail Freight Group, the industry’s representative body in the UK, will set the scene with an examination of the current situation. Maggie Simpson opens the debate, with the whole world economy in turmoil, and the effects are being felt in the UK rail freight industry at large.

While there are considerable challenges to doing business in the time of lockdowns and social distancing, there are opportunities for the industry to play a vital part, and prosper in the added attention. Simpson will explain what impacts her members are facing, and where they stand in the immediate future. Crucially, will added business remain on the rails in the immediate future?

MDS Transmodal founder Mike Garratt is all smiles, even when discussing pinch points and challenges to rail freight development (MDS Transmodal)

Mike Garratt

As a consultancy, MDS Transmodal has built up a reputation for a holistic approach. With expertise across everything from maritime to train times, approaching the rail freight industry as a part of the bigger economy is second nature.

The company principal Mike Garratt is interested in mapping out how rail freight fits in, as we move back towards a fully functioning economy. Garratt has looked in close detail at the constraints faced by freight on Britain’s mixed-use railway. Whether it will be back to business as normal, or a permanent change, there are infrastructure issues to be addressed.

Fast track. Ben Goodwin speaks for HS2 and how an exclusively passenger line can get on board for rail freight (image HS2)

Ben Goodwin

As Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, the new railway between London, Birmingham and beyond cannot be ignored. Ben Goodwin is communications manager for the company building the line. He has the highest profile stakeholder relations job in the whole British railway industry.

With the UK government having recently given the green light to the project, HS2 is coming, it is only a matter of time. Ben is convinced that the project will deliver a huge benefit to rail freight through releasing capacity. What through can the industry do to make sure that benefit is delivered.

Register gratis

Rail freight is in the spotlight right now, playing a leading role in keeping Britain’s economy moving. Will it remain the prime mover in the post-virus reality, or will it be squeezed out in a rush to re-establish the former hierarchy of the railways? This is an opportunity to sit at the table with the top opinion makers, and have your voice heard.

Registration for the Summit on Friday morning is open now, here at this link.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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