Rail reform on Modern Railways EXPO conference agenda

Anit Chandanara

The Future of Britain’s Railways conference runs alongside Modern Railways EXPO 2022 and as the transition to Great British Railways gathers pace, the programme is evolving rapidly. Key themes will include an update on rail reform, a session on rebuilding revenue and fares and ticketing, and another on train service delivery.

Rail reform
A keynote address on progress with rail reform and the major changes to the industry’s structure on Tuesday 22 November will be given by Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) Lead Director Anit Chandarana. Mr Chandarana’s role involves overseeing the whole operation of the GBRTT working with Network Rail Chief Executive and GBRTT Lead Andrew Haines and team on the interim arrangements for the railway following the publication of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail in May 2021. He was Chief of Staff at Network Rail, where he led Network Rail’s involvement in the creation of the white paper. He has worked in the rail industry for more than 18 years.

Revenue and ticketing issues discussed
The opening conference session on the show’s second day, Wednesday 23 November, will shine a spotlight on the important issue of rebuilding revenue, fares and ticketing.

The keynote speech at this session will given by GBRTT’s Director of Passenger Revenue Suzanne Donnelly. She is on secondment to the GBRTT leadership team as the director responsible for the passenger, revenue and marketing team, which has been formed from and builds on the Rail Revenue Recovery Group (RRRG) set up in early 2021. Revenue recovery and growth is critical to the financial sustainability of the railway both now and for the future. Her twin focus is of a short-term acceleration of demand/revenue and designing Great British Railways in a way which puts customer and revenue management at the heart.

She has 16 years of rail experience in various commercial roles (most recently as Commercial Director for LNER) and 11 years before that in the airline sector.

Future focus
Modern Railways Editor Philip Sherratt says: ‘Modern Railways EXPO 2022 is about looking to the future. Our conference sessions pick up this theme – with a timely update on progress with rail reform led by GBRTT as well as the vital topic of rebuilding revenue and the associated issue of fares and ticketing. But none of this matters if the railway can’t deliver a good service to its customers – passenger and freight – so our session on train service delivery will also be a must-attend.’