25 June 2014
Last week’s Rail Live 2014- a 2 day Network Rail event in Warwickshire- proved an exemplary innovation showcase to thousands of visitors.
Connected to the rail network, the event was treated as a live railway site, and enabled the live demonstration of innovative working methods. A diversity of rail kit was on show, everything from track infrastructure, signalling, OLE (overhead line equipment) and heavy lifting gear, to the truly all terrain “rail rovers”- Land Rovers that are happy on-road, off-road, and on train tracks.
Network Rail’s Track Director, Steve Featherstone, described the event as “a real statement of intent about the industry’s confidence and ambition.”
Attendees included innovation consultants IXC UK, suppliers, the media, and Government. Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin informed attendees that “we can see innovation happening”: Network Rail is a major buyer of infrastructure equipment that needs solutions to innovate; linking up with the right suppliers- where engineers and companies can work with Network Rail to find innovative solutions- is what is needed. Collaborative working was defined as the “biggest opportunity to make the step change” in how the rail industry will meet challenges.
Innovation was also addressed by FutureRailway Director David Clarke in his talk “Looking back, looking forward, enabling innovation.” According to fellow attendees Rail Technology Magazine, he presented the automotive industry as a successful model to emulate, and proposed the rail industry de-risks novelty and ensures vital if high risk technologies can be developed, thus resulting in greater export potential.
Innovation consultants IXC UK serve diverse market sectors, including rail and automotive, and excel at open innovation- particularly sourcing the ideal technologies & capabilities, partners and suppliers for innovative collaborative projects. Russ Noble, Business Development & Partnerships Manager, described the event as “excellent with a fantastic turnout. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with familiar and new faces- particularly existing IXC clients, colleagues and rail stakeholders- including FutureRailway, the Rail Industry Association, Staffordshire Alliance, Tier 1 suppliers, and of course our client and host Network Rail who- along with organisers Colin Flack and his team at Rail Alliance- I would like to thank for this invaluable industry-leading event.”
(As the event was a live railway site, attendees had to wear high visibility clothing. To see what our BD manager looks like in hi-vis check out our Facebook page!)
Rail Road Vehicle
Tamper Liner & Track Monitoring
Track renewal & monitoring