19 - 20 June 2018
Köln Messe, Cologne, Germany

All Streams are across 2 days

One-hundred-and-eighty years on from Stephenson’s Rocket, what will be the greatest challenges faced by rail operators in the future? Passenger numbers and demand continue to rise, but how can rail operators meet the increasing demand and where will investment come from to support network improvements? Tony Robinson, the founder of one of the world’s largest transportation industry publishing and event companies, will pose the question and ask participants to examine how the rail industry can survive the challenge from new transport forms including high-speed (platooning) autonomous vehicles and PATS for personal mobility. Indeed, can rail meet the challenge long term in the freight sector? Leading rail operators in Europe and elsewhere will be asked to put forward their cases and their visions for the future of rail.

Topics discussed in this stream will include:

  • Railway industry forecasts - 2030 and beyond
  • Challenges and opportunities for rail
  • Competition from new or evolving modes of personal mobility
  • Funding railways of the future
  • Long-term financial stability in the rail industry
  • Distributive technologies
  • Improving passenger satisfaction
  • Environmental performance of railway
  • Supporting growth in the freight sector
  • Trans-European transport networks
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    Conference Programme

    Day 1: Tuesday 19 June

    How Can Rail Stay Competitive Against Autonomous Vehicles & New Smart Mobility Solutions

    Rail systems as the backbone of multimodal sustainable mobility

    Carlo M Borghini
    Executive director
    Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking
    As the world’s resources become scarcer and climate change poses an ever-increasing threat, the future of Europe lies in embracing sustainable development strategies and investing in sustainable solutions to meet its long-term challenges. Despite the progress achieved in recent years, one of the most critical sectors – transport – is still 'off track' to sustainability, producing one quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, which is set to nearly double in the next 25 years. Established under Horizon 2020, the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking is a public-private partnership designed to carry out strategic rail sector objectives and encourage a modal shift to rail.

    Quantum shifts in mobility – impact on business models and society

    Alexei Korn
    Senior strategy manager
    Swiss Federal Railways
    Mobility systems will experience major efficiency leaps in years to come. Self-driving vehicles in passenger and freight transport will more efficiently utilise infrastructure capacities, and considerably reduce transportation cost and parking search traffic. Smart cities will improve mobility with smart traffic management, strict demand management, mobility platforms and new mobility services. Furthermore, rail will improve considerably. What advantages will this bring for society, land use and sustainability? What cities are leading the way in mobility platforms, P2P/B2C sharing, e-hail, ride sharing, AVs and smart mobility? How will the business models of automotive OEMs, public transport companies and new mobility players be impacted?

    How to increase the attractiveness of rail for customers

    Libor Lochman
    Executive director
    CER - the Voice of European Railways
    The competition for rail passengers as well as in the rail freight market promises to provide customers with the expected benefits: higher levels of service for a lower price. However, this is only possible when – besides the sector internal innovation – the framework legislative conditions are set accordingly, allowing not only a fair intramodal competitive environment but also ensuring the correct intermodal level playing field. Alongside the implementation of the 4. Railway Package, the sector expects the elements of the Europe On the Move initiative to contribute to it, together with the further boost of the rail infrastructure investments as a part of the MFF.

    Future-proofing rail to improve passenger satisfaction

    Fraser Brown
    Heathrow Express
    Continuous innovation is key to passenger satisfaction. In the UK, how can train operating companies work with Network Rail, which owns the tracks, to maintain excellent service? Passenger service is at the centre of business strategy – from recruitment and training, to price strategies and marketing, how to ensure customer service is at the centre of the business and that all teams can work together for the right solutions? Communicating excellence – are train companies being heard? Trains – leading the way in sustainable transport.

    Real-time demand-based operation for urban rail

    Alvaro Urech
    Innovation manager
    Optimet passenger demand-based regulation is based on a new approach to operation: matching passenger demand with transport supply in real time. On one hand, Optimet dwell-time optimiser detects the completion of the passenger exchange phase, as well as the platform overcrowding situation. This data is then stored for subsequent timetable optimisation or sent to the ATS for use in real-time operation. Optimet, by Alstom, provides a regulation module capable of calculating, in real time, the optimum dwell times and journey times between stations, according to the density of passengers on the platform at any given moment.

    Presentation to be confirmed

    Dominique Laousse
    Head of innovation and prospective unit - expert synapses

    Future horizons – setting passenger expectations for new experiences

    Paul Priestman
    Designer and chairman
    With the rapidly changing landscape of future transport, Paul will look at new forms of high-speed transport such as hyperloop and the opportunities presented by autonomous vehicles and passenger drones, and discuss the impact they will have on passenger experiences.

    Next-generation trains are virtually coupled

    Dr Joachim Winter
    Senior scientist - Institute of Vehicle Concepts
    DLR - German Aerospace Center
    There is political will worldwide to increase the freight transport volume on cargo railways. To achieve this goal the travel speed of goods has to be significantly increased. One key issue is more automation of production processes to sustain much faster cargo handling. This will aggravate the existing bottleneck of available railway lines in some areas, for example on harbour–hinterland routes. Especially with mixed traffic of passenger and freight trains, the traffic may stagnate. The technical solution for future operation could be more flexible moving block signalling (or direct train-to-train communication) and virtual coupling, even of different train types. This would allow for significantly increased utilisation of the existing railway network.

    Reimagining the rail experience

    Jeremy White
    Transport director
    The seismic impact that emergent technologies will have on passenger needs and behaviour pose very challenging questions for rail companies looking to the future. Rigid infrastructure and long investment cycles bring with them an inherent inflexibility, leaving rail companies vulnerable to disruptive new technologies and business models. Although the specifics of how AV and MaaS will affect our world remain uncertain, rail executives facing investment decisions today must prepare for the convenience, affordability and intense competition that the advent of robots will bring. Can rail companies compete in this world? If so, how must they adapt? What strategies must they adopt? Through hard-nosed imagination and ambitious innovation, we see robust business opportunities ahead for rail companies operating within the mobility ecosystem of the future. We believe this will be rooted in the elevated passenger experience, but we must innovate to get there. These topics will be explored, unpacked and illustrated with examples and anecdotes to demonstrate how human-centred design, innovation and visionary thinking can allow rail businesses to think further ahead and ambitiously define their future for themselves.

    How you might be the barrier to innovation in rail

    River Tamoor Baig
    CEO and founder
    Hack Partners
    The UK rail industry needs to innovate or it will die. Many people will question this. After all, the UK rail industry has one of the best safety records in Europe, customers keep paying rail fares and customer satisfaction keeps going up. However, customers now expect the same level of service from rail that they do from their taxi app, broadband provider or takeaway delivery service. We have identified five key barriers to innovation for this presentation: (1) Procurement frameworks; (2) Data access; (3) Non output-driven funding landscape; (4) A resistant rail culture; (5) The franchising system.

    Methodological disruptions to anticipate the future rail market and policy needs

    Ming Chen
    Senior consultant/project manager
    In the coming decade disruption innovations will bring significant changes to the traditional structures of the economic and social system. These disruptions will also drastically change the stakeholder arena in different sectors. At the same time, methodologies to anticipate the future are often based on historical data (so historical patterns) and input from the current stakeholders. A general methodological paradigm shift is needed to solve this contradiction. For the rail sector this leads to the need to adjust and a careful assessment of the traditional, generally accepted methodologies; new risks but also new possibilities should be anticipated. The presentation will be based on experiences from the H2020 Smart Rail project and a TNO project on ‘disruptive innovations and improved forecasting methodologies (DISMOD)’.

    Panel Discussion - How will rail operators rise to the increasing challenge from autonomous vehicles, ride sharing, low cost air travel, and autonomous aerial taxi’s in the future? How can new and next generation technologies help increase capacity of rai

    Day 2: Wednesday 20 June

    Innovation, New Technology & Digitization – The Future For Rail

    Shift2Rail is driving EU innovation into the rail system

    Giorgio Travaini
    Head of research and innovation
    Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking
    Shift2Rail is the first European Union initiative joining the rail sector and public funding to deliver focused R&I and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail solutions. It is a €1bn initiative that looks beyond R&I towards a plan for system deployment of its solutions; a forward-looking rethinking of the future of the railway system. The R&I work from blue-sky research to the highest TRLs is conducted in an integrated programme structured in five asset-specific innovation programmes (IPs) and one horizontal activity (CCA) that deliver technology demonstrators.

    Service design to make rail prevail

    Klaus Garstenauer
    Head of commuter and regional traffic
    ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG
    In recent years, rail passenger traffic has made substantial progress throughout emerging and developed markets. Yet modal split still remains widely unaltered in favour of private motor vehicles. To win over passengers, rail services will not only need to be frequent and reliable but also smart, stylish and compatible with a contemporary lifestyle. Digitisation may help greatly but first and foremost, hardware (i.e. trains and stations) has to be fixed and services produced with high standards of quality. Based on these requirements, connectivity and available onboard content may provide a USP over competing modes.

    Railway stations as catalysts for regeneration

    Jonathan Chatfield
    Head of policy
    Rail Delivery Group
    RDG research on the contribution of railway stations to local communities has shown how they can support economic growth and commercial development, enable housing delivery and enhance the quality of a place. Stations have the potential to be catalysts for change and regeneration. They are deeply entwined with their local communities and act as gateways to both town and railway.

    Shaping the digital future of transport

    Russell Goodenough
    Client managing director - transport sector
    Russell believes that the future of transport lies in digital technologies. From the infrastructure our trains roll on, the safety of the people using and working on the rail to the systems improving passenger experience – digitisation will provide abundant efficiencies for rail organisations and opportunities for commercialisation while improving the customer experience. Explore how digital is driving operational efficiency, employee productivity and business growth and how innovations such as MaaS, account-based travel, hyper-connectivity and AI will shape the future of transport. Learn about the technologies that will disrupt the transport industry and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

    Designing a resilient metropolitan rail service

    Dr Selby Coxon
    Director Mobility Design Lab
    Monash University
    This presentation discusses the work of the Monash University Mobility Design Lab based in Melbourne, Australia, concerning the design of resilient rolling stock for high-capacity city networks. Rolling stock procurement and operation is an enormously expensive undertaking. Using cutting-edge design methodologies and strategies, interior accommodation can be created to be adaptable and updatable in a variety of ways. The use of 3D printing of components, asset protection from vandalism and passenger load management are part of a 'resilient' approach to rolling stock design researched by the Monash University Mobility Design Lab.

    Forecasting railway markets – how to picture the future?

    Karl Strang
    Senior consultant
    SCI Verkehr GmbH
    Since 1994, SCI Verkehr GmbH has been specialising in strategic consultancy services, monitoring and forecasts in the global railway markets for use by manufacturers, financiers and operators. In 2003, the first worldwide forecast of the markets for products and services of railway technology was published. Valid information on future developments requires broad and profound knowledge on technology, operation, macroeconomics and business administration. New and disruptive developments in the railway and consulting industries are challenging methodology and skills. This presentation summarises the state of the art and the next steps to be expected in railway market forecasting.

    The benefits of above-rail competition in Europe

    Nick Brooks
    Board director
    Allrail (Alliance of Rail New Entrants)
    Allrail represents new passenger rail companies, whose success and growth solely depends on keeping passengers happy and ensuring that they keep coming back to rail. We will show how existing cases of competition between different operators on the same tracks has achieved: (1) Better quality and service; (2) Lower prices; (3) Modal shift to rail; (4) Less taxpayer subsidy. It has also benefited the environment. Where there is no real competition, as in France, rail passenger traffic has reduced by 6% since 2011. Where there is competition, growth of up to 100% over five years has been recorded on the routes concerned.

    Promoting a European single rail area in ticketing

    Neil Murrin
    General counsel and director, regulatory affairs
    The European Commission has taken the bold step of introducing legislation in the form of various railway packages that are designed to open up the EU passenger rail market to increased competition. Trainline fully supports these objectives. We believe that independent digital rail platforms like ourselves (and others) providing innovative and impartial rail information and booking services to consumers, are fully aligned with this goal. We will explain how a viable, independent and impartial retail market for train tickets is fundamental to the success of these policy objectives.

    Autonomous LRT operation

    Nils Jänig
    Director - transport
    LRT operation in urban environments is challenged by a great deal of interaction with other traffic modes. Automatic or autonomous operation is difficult to achieve compared with metros. Current driver assistance systems can be seen as a first step for LRT. Based on the BOStrab, this presentation provides an overview of the technical, regulatory and safety aspects that need to dealt with for future automatic LRT operation in cities.

    How to cut the CO2 of existing diesel trains by 25%

    Johannes Wilhelmer
    Railway engineer - developing future rolling stock
    Stadler Rail
    Diesel trains are widely used on less-frequented tracks, where electrification is uneconomical. Is it possible to improve the energy efficiency of existing rolling stock, propelled by diesel engines, through hybridisation of the drivetrain, to achieve a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions? The presentation will show what is possible using simulation-based design methods. Utilising an energy-based model, fuel consumption can be minimised without harming the performance of the vehicle.

    ESSI – development vision for rail services in southern Finland

    Christoph Krause
    Traffic planner
    Ramboll Finland Oy
    The project aims to develop traffic service strategies for 2025 and 2040 for the commuter train services in the southern part of Finland. The description of needed investments for rail infrastructure, signalling and rolling stock over the next 25 years enabled the Finnish Transport Authority and several other stakeholders to establish the long-term strategy of the railway system in southern Finland ready for the future’s increased traffic demand. The size and level of detail of the analysis make it one of the biggest railway strategy projects that has been done in Finland.

    Panel Discussion - Will new high-speed rail projects such as HS2 and Follo in Norway win passengers? Challenges facing high speed rail.

    Please Note: This conference programme may be subject to change