Full steam ahead for Doncaster Rail Conference

NDFP Rail Conference Doncaster  The Panel

NDFP Rail Conference Doncaster The Panel

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Some of the biggest names in the rail sector will come together at a dedicated conference being held later this month to highlight how the rail industry is moving forward.

The second annual Doncaster Rail Conference will take place at Doncaster Racecourse on Wednesday, June 29, and will focus on the topics of infrastructure and diversity.

The Flying Scotsman.

The Flying Scotsman.

High profile keynote speakers include Claire Perry MP, under secretary of state for transport and Beth West, commercial director at HS2.

The event will showcase the direction the industry is heading, building the right infrastructure for the UK, the transformation of technology and innovation, the benefits of a diverse workforce and most importantly how businesses can tap into the major opportunities that exist in the UK and across the world.

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said: “Following on from last year’s Rail Conference success, this second conference will once again highlight just how Doncaster is at the forefront of the future rail industry.

“The rail sector is moving incredibly fast with billions of pounds being invested to bring infrastructure in the UK and overseas up to the standards expected in the 21st century and beyond.

“This event will highlight where the sector is heading and how diversity can help address the skills shortage gap. It is a must attend event for anyone connected to the rail industry.”

The under construction National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster will also be a hot topic at the event.

Building work has already started on site at Lakeside and the college is set to open in September 2017.

It will equip thousands of students with the highly technical engineering skills required to build, operate and maintain a railway. Major infrastructure projects they are envisaged to work on include the HS2 project to provide high-speed rail links between London, Birmingham, the east midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

Beth West said: “The National College for High Speed Rail will help re-define what it means to be employed in the rail industry by attracting new people and providing the opportunity to create the diverse workforce that the industry aspires to.”

Those attending can also expect to get a flavour of how Doncaster has been a ‘rail town’ for more than a century. Doncaster railway works, referred to as ‘The Plant’, produced world famous locomotives including the Flying Scotsman and the Mallard in the 1920s and 30s.

Representatives from some of the town’s major rail firms, such as Unipart Rail, Wabtec and VolkerRail, are invited to attend along with anyone else with an interest in the sector.

Dan Fell, chief executive officer of Doncaster Chamber, said: “Doncaster has a fabulous heritage in the rail sector. However, local partners and the private sector alike are far more concerned with looking to the future.

“Local firms are reporting full order books and identifying lots of opportunities connected to UK projects – such as HS2 and HS3 – but also overseas too. Addressing skills challenges for the sector remains a key challenge.

“The High Speed Rail Academy will play a key part in addressing this but it will not be a panacea. That is why the chamber is, along with other partners, working hard to secure a University Technical College for Doncaster – which can act as a feeder to the High Speed Rail Academy – and also to promote the vibrancy of Doncaster’s rail engineering sector to young people in schools via the Doncaster Skills Academy.”

To book conference tickets visit www.businessdoncaster.com