A record number of rail professionals enjoyed a day of building business connections and attending informative events at Rolling Stock Networking (RSN) yesterday.
Derby Arena buzzed as 145 exhibitors showcased their businesses to bigger numbers than ever before.
RSN 2022 is a full-scale, international rail show focused specifically on passenger and freight rolling stock, technical enhancements, depot equipment, ancillary services and the rail supply chain in 2022.
It is organised by railway people, for railway people.
And organisers have described Thursday’s event – the third of its kind – as the “best yet.”
RSN hosted a wide range of companies, from industry giants such as Alstom and CAF to entrepreneurs at the SME end of the spectrum, all of which shared new ideas and innovative products and services that will support and improve the operational railway.
The expo was officially opened at 9.30am by Amanda Solloway MP, who then opened Rail Business Daily’s IConference. Chief whip for the Conservative party on DfT matters, she gave a warm welcome to the leading minds of rolling stock in attendance.
Seven industry leading speakers took to the IConference stage in front a packed audience to share their secrets to success and help advise how to win work and overcome challenges.
Tony Howard joined RSSB with responsibility for the supplier assurance function in August 2021. Previously he was a director setting up standards, apprenticeship schemes, assessments, and industry certification schemes at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). During his speech at the conference, Tony discussed RISQS and RISAS and the crucial need for assurance systems.
Paul Harwood, programme director, industry commercial, from the Great British Railways Transition Team, talked about the work they do laying the foundation for Network Rail’s successor. Looking to the future of our networks, he explained how Great British Railways will be a strong commercial partner.
Maria Griffin and Bernie Rowell from HS2 took the rail professional audience through the sheer scope of their high-speed project and its major ambitions for the sector. Step by step, they explained the timeline, the industrial strategy, the strength of partnerships built and the lasting legacy the programme will leave.
Graeme Clark, the head of business development, Siemens Mobility, took a light-hearted look back at his career on the railways. He also looked ahead at the bright, exciting times the industry will have.
Neil Ovenden head of engineering, Rail Partners, gave everyone in attendance a brief introduction to the organisation — which exists to make the railway better by harnessing the expertise and creativity of private sector operators for the benefit of those who use the railway, passengers and freight customers, and those who pay for it, including taxpayers. He also looked at the post-pandemic world and what opportunities it will bring.
Tim Robinson is a founder and chairman of DigiRail. DigiRail delivers smart, sustainable, fit-for-purpose tailored digital solutions. It offers a blend of digital and engineering expertise combined with an in-depth knowledge of the rail industry. Tim told delegates where he sees great opportunity for the rail sector supply chain as it embraces digital technology at greater scale.
There were also five other events which took place throughout the day organised by industry bodies and the trade associations.
The Railway Industry Association provided a fresh and stimulating view on the Meet The Buyer theme. It proved a great success through a blend of both direct organised meetings and drop-in sessions, matching many opportunities to capabilities.
Throughout the day smiles were exchanged for many business cards, new relationships were built and business opportunities formed.
The RSN team has already been overwhelmed with positive feedback. The enthusiasm has carried over into stand bookings for the 2023 show, with many visitors now booking as exhibitors for next year.