Railfuture Conferences

Railfuture holds two national conferences each year, usually in the summer and autumn (in addition to its AGM for members). We aim only to cover our costs. The conferences are competitively priced, to be within rail users' price range, and are open to everyone. Railfuture members are usually offered a chance to attend at a discounted rate.

Speakers come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of the organisations who have spoken at conferences include Arriva Cross Country, Arriva Trains Wales, Association of Train Operating Companies, Cardiff International Airport, Centro, Chester-le-Track, Chiltern Railways, Delta Rail, East Coast, East Midlands Trains, East West Rail Consortium, Eurostar, First Capital Connect, First Great Western, First Transpennine Express, Grand Central, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Hitachi Rail Europe, HS2, London Midland, London Overground Railway Operations, Merseytravel, MyTestTrack.com, Network Rail, Northern Rail, Northern (Arriva Rail North), Nottingham Express Transit, Parry People Movers, South West Trains, Thameslink and Great Northern, Transpennine Express, TramPower, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, UK Rail Leasing, Virgin Trains, Virgin Trains East Coast and Vivarail.

Click HERE to see a list events and speakers for each organisation.

To follow Railfuture's conferences on Twitter use the '#rfconference' hash-tag.
Note: this hash-tag is not exclusive to Railfuture.

Future Events

Click HERE For a list of rail-related events including free-to-attend Railfuture branch meetings

Sorry but there are no future events confirmed yet - please re-visit this web-site later.

Terms and Conditions

Before booking please make sure that you have read the Railfuture conference terms and conditions (PDF format).

Past Conferences

The location of Railfuture national conferences vary each year but always with good rail connections. The following is a list of conferences in recent years.

2018/Carlisle [link]

  • 23/06/2017

2017/Leeds [link]

  • 17/06/2017

2016/Birmingham [link]

  • 12/11/2016 Heart of the railway - how West Midlands will lead the way to the future
  • Plus presentation of 2016 Rail User Group Awards

  • Reason for Birmingham: Completion of Birmingham New Street modernisation and Midland Metro extensions
  • Hosted by Railfuture West Midlands branch
  • Toby Rackcliff, Rail Policy and Strategy Manager, West Midlands Combined Authority (talked about Driving Improvement in the next West Midlands Franchise)
  • Maria Machancoses, Programme Director, Midlands Connect (talked about Powering the Midlands Engine) Twitter Image
  • Lord Berkeley, Chairman, Rail Freight Group (talked about Challenges in a devolved rail sector, capacity, investment and access issues) Twitter Image
  • Alice Gillman, Communications, Vivarail (talked about The Class 230 - a new train for a new franchise)
  • Stephen Joseph, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport (talked about Priorities for the Railways, a CBT perspective) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Professor Clive Roberts, University of Birmingham (talked about The digital age of railways)
  • The conference was opened by Councillor Carl Rice, Lord Mayor of Birmingham

2016/Scottish Borders [link]

  • 18/06/2016

2015/Bristol [link] - [Read Conference Report]

  • 07/11/2015 Rail Resurgence in the West of England
  • Plus presentation of 2015 Rail User Group Awards - co-presented by Railfuture Honorary President Christian Wolmar

  • Reason for Bristol: Bristol Metro and other rail expansion in the area
  • Hosted by Railfuture Severnside branch
  • Read a [Press Release] about the conference.
  • Listen to a [Radio Interview] about the conference.
  • Matthew Golton, Bid Director, Great Western Railway (talked about plans for the franchise Direct Award) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • James White, Transport and Rail Co-ordinator, West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (talked about the MetroWest project) Twitter Image
  • James Freeman, FirstBus (talked about Bus/Rail integration) Facebook Image
  • John Parry, Parry People Movers (talked about the intermediate mode - the gap between heavy rail and bus)
  • Peter Wakefield, Chairman, East Anglia branch, Railfuture (talked about how a consistent voice can drive progress between councils, LEPs etc.)
  • Gerard Duddridge, Chairman, Devon & Cornwall branch, Railfuture (talked about speed and resilience in the South West)

2015/Newark [link]

  • 20/06/2015 Enhancing capacity in the East Midlands

  • Jointly hosted by Railfuture East Midlands and Lincolnshire branches
  • Read an [Article] ("Constructive Conference") about the conference.
  • David Horne, Managing Director, Virgin Trains East Coast (talked about 'The future starts now')
  • Andy Castledine, Head of Operations and Performance, Rail business and development, Stagecoach Rail (talked about 'Who are we and what do we do?')
  • Graham Botham, Principal Strategic Planner (LNE and EM), Network Rail (talked about East Coast capacity enhancements) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Roger Blaney, Chairman, Newark and Sherwood District Council (talked about Castle line enhanced timetable) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Steve Barber, Broxtowe Borough Council (talked about NET2 Nottingham Tramway Extension) Twitter Image Facebook Image
    • He was awarded Campaigner of the year for his success in gaining government approval for NET2
  • Tom Ingall, Great Central Railway (talked about 'Bridging the gap' reunification project at Loughborough) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Bob Poynter, Former BR Operations Manager now transport advisor to Newark Business Club (talked about Increasing rail services and frequencies in Nottinghamshire)
  • Welcome by Councillor Robert and Mrs Rita Crowe, the Mayor and Mayoress of Newark

2014/London [link] - [Read Conference Report]

  • 01/11/2014 On Track for Success: The Challenges Ahead
  • Plus presentation of 2014 Rail User Group Awards - co-presented by Railfuture Honorary President Christian Wolmar

  • Hosted by Railfuture London and South East branch
  • Read a [Press Release] about the conference.
  • Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport Twitter Image
    • Address is via a pre-recorded video for the Railfuture conference on the big screen
  • Karen Boswell, Managing Director, East Coast Twitter Image Facebook Image
    • Has just won the prestigious Woman of the Year Award (Hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism)
  • Ian Brown, Director, Railfuture (and former Managing Director of TfL London Rail) (talked about Annual Big Picture lecture on Crossrail he gave on 29th October)
    • Replaced Fiona Dolman, Network Rail's Head of Capacity Planning, Network Operations
  • Anna Matthews, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Rail Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Sharon Hedges, Rail Passenger Manager, Passenger Focus Twitter Image
  • Trevor Birch, Strategic Programme Manager for the South East Future Ticketing Programme, Department for Transport
    • Speaker replaces Jenni Borg, Head of Smart and Integrated Ticketing, who had to withdraw
  • Stefanie Browne, News & Features Writer, RAIL Magazine Twitter Image
  • Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport & Deputy Chair of Transport for London Twitter Image
    • Will open conference via a pre-recorded video for Railfuture conference
  • Read profiles of the speakers (PDF format)

2014/Cambridge [link] - [Read Conference Report]

  • 21/06/2014 Rail: The Engine For Change
  • How a successful local economy and good rail service create a virtuous circle

2013/Oxford [link] - [Read Conference Report]

  • 02/11/2013 Rail Users' Conference
  • Plus presentation of 2013 Rail User Group Awards
  • A short Extraordinary General Meeting was held immediately after Lunch.
  • See www.railfuture.org.uk/EGM2013 for further information
  • A copy of Lord Faulkner's book 'Holding the Line: How Britain's Railways Were Saved' can be ordered at a discount HERE

  • Reason for Oxford: East West Rail and Evergreen 3 projects
  • Hosted by Railfuture Thames Valley branch
  • Read a [Press Release] about the conference and EGM.
  • Christian Wolmar, Railfuture Honorary President, Conference Chairman Twitter Image
  • Stephen Barker, Chief Project Engineer, Chiltern Railways (talked about Oxford-Marylebone 'Evergreen 3' scheme) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Lord Faulkner, Co-author of Holding the Line: How Britain's Railways Were Saved (talked about his book and about the Cotswold Line Promotion Group of which he is President)
  • Lord Berkeley, Chairman, Rail Freight Group (talked about Rail freight and the politics of rail, incl. HS2 issues) Twitter Image
  • Chris Aldridge, Principal Strategic Planner, Network Rail (talked about Looking forward 20 years on the Western Region) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Martin Tugwell, Deputy Director (Strategy and Infrastructure Planning), Oxfordshire County Council (talked about Rail Revival in Oxfordshire and local best practice by the County Council) Twitter Image Facebook Image
    • Stood in for Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader
  • Patrick O'Sullivan, Project Manager, East West Rail Consortium (talked about Ongoing developments on East West Rail) Twitter Image
  • Welcome by the Lord Mayor of Oxford

2013/Taunton [link]

2012/Birmingham [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2012/Stirling [link]

  • Reason for Stirling: Stirling-Alloa and Airdrie-Bathgate reopenings
  • Hosted by Railfuture Scotland branch
  • Read a [Press Release] about the conference.
  • Geoff Cook, Scheme Sponsor of EGIP, Network Rail Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Jackie McGuire (talked about Stirling-Alloa Reopening)
  • Dr Ann Glen, Author and Lecturer (talked about Airdrie-Bathgate)
  • David Spaven and Bill Jamieson, Borders Rail Campaign
  • Ken Sutherland, Railfuture (talked about Current campaigning by Railfuture Scotland)
  • Trevor Garrod, Chairman, European Passengers' Federation (talked about European Transport Policy - What it means for us)

2011/Manchester [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2011/Bletchley [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2010/London [link]

2010/Taunton [link]

2009/Corby [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2009/Northallerton [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2008/London [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2008/Salisbury [link]

2007/Ely [link]

2007/Glasgow [link]

  • 23/06/2007

  • Hosted by Railfuture Scotland branch
  • Cllr Alistair Watson, Chairman, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
  • Paul Tetlaw, Chairman, TRANSform Scotland (talked about The Role of the Campaigners) Twitter Image
  • Howard Pack, Corus

2006/Reading [link]

  • 04/11/2006
  • There were workshop sessions on 'Getting the authorities on your side', 'High-speed rail', 'Social inclusion and the urban railway' and 'Electrifying Britain's railways'

  • Read the [Meeting Minutes] from the conference.
  • Stephen Hammond MP, Shadow Transport Secretary, Conservative Party (talked about New thinking on railways and transport from the Conservative Party) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Martin Tugwell, Planning Implementation Director, South East England Regional Assembly (talked about Rail for the booming South East)
  • Reg Harman (talked about Rail's electrifying future)
  • Ruth Leuillette, Transport Planning Manager, Reading Borough Council (talked about Reading station: On the verge of transformation) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Chris Irwin, TravelWatch SouthWest (talked about Rail users must be heard)

2006/Stoke [link] - [Read Conference Report]

2005/Manchester [link]

  • 05/11/2005

  • Hosted by Railfuture North West branch
  • Brian Simpson, Director, North West Rail Campaign
  • Brendan O'Friel, Chairman, North West Public Transport Users' Forum
  • John Mooney, Passenger Link Director, Rail Passengers Council
  • Toby Young
  • Neil Buxton, Association of Community Rail Partnerships Facebook Image

2005/Barry [link] - [Read Conference Report]

  • 02/06/2005 1st RDS Ltd AGM

2004/Birmingham [link]

2003/London [link]

2003/Birmingham [link]

  • 26/04/2003 High-Speed Rail

  • Railfuture is grateful for sponsorship from Birmingham City Council
  • Read an [Article] ("High-speed-rail") about the conference.
  • Roderick Smith, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College, London (talked about Lessons from Japan: The Case for a UK High-Speed Rail Network)
  • Mike Bennett (talked about High-Speed European Railways - A glimpse of the future)
  • John Stewart, Transport 2000 (talked about Clearing the Skies and Preserving the Fields - The case for High-Speed Rail to replace Short Haul Flights)
  • Graham Nalty and Norman Bradbury, Railfuture (talked about Saving the Roads from Gridlock - High-Speed Rail as a viable alternative to Motorways)
  • Alderman Don Lewis (talked about Opportunities for High-Speed Rail)

2002/London [link]

  • Chris Green, Chief Executive, Virgin Trains Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Steve Thompson, Director of Consumer Development, London Lines
  • Anthony Smith, National Director, Rail Passenger Council
  • There were also four concurrent workshops - on rail user groups, marketing, business cases and cycling. BBC News 24 covered the conference

2002/Derby [link]

  • 25/05/2002 11th Rail Reopenings Conference

  • Christian Wolmar
  • Jonathan Hall, Rail Officer, Nottinghamshire County Council (talked about How the Robin Hood line was reopened) Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Malcolm Parker (talked about History behind plans for rail reopenings in Wales)

2001/London [link]

  • 06/10/2001 Rail Users' Conference

2001/Poole [link]

  • Rail Reopenings Conference - No further details available

2000/London [link]

  • 07/10/2000 Rail Users' Conference

  • Stewart Francis, Chairman, Rail Passengers Council
  • Chris Austin, External Relations Director, SRA
  • Jonathan Denby, Corporate Affairs Manager, Anglia Railways

1999/Walsall [link]

  • 26/06/1999 Rail Reopenings - 'Reo 99'

  • Mike Grant, Chief Executive Designate, Shadow SRA
  • Stuart Davies, Halcrow Transmark (talked about Feasibility and Cost Benefit Studies)

1999/Colchester [link]

  • 22/09/1999 Stansted Airport - A Public Transport Hub for the East
  • A weekday event for decision makers and opinion formers

  • Managers, Railtrack
  • Managers, Train Operators
  • MPs
  • Representatives, Voluntary Sector

1998/London [link]

  • 26/09/1998 20th Rail Users' Conference

1998/Cambridge [link]

  • 20/06/1998 7th Rail Reopenings Conference

1997/London [link]

  • 27/09/1997 19th Rail Users' Conference

  • David Bertram, Chairman, Central Rail Users' Consultative Committee
  • Allan Dare, Adtranz

1997/Halifax [link]

  • 28/06/1997 6th Rail Reopenings Conference

  • Cllr Marion Kershaw, Calderdale Council
  • Bob Hill, Director, Railtrack Property
  • Ruth Annison, Wensleydale Rail Association

1996/London [link]

  • Read an [Article] ("The Great Western way") about the conference.
  • Read an [Article] ("Europe sets the transport policy pace") about the conference.
  • Brian Scott, Managing Director, Great Western Trains
  • Professor Janice Morphet

1996/Bicester [link]

1995/London [link]

  • 17th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1995/Bathgate [link]

  • 4th Rail Reopenings Conference - No further details available

1994/London [link]

  • 16th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1994/Clitheroe [link]

  • 3rd Rail Reopenings Conference - No further details available

1993/London [link]

  • 15th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1993/Maesteg [link]

  • 2nd Rail Reopenings Conference - No further details available

1992/London [link]

  • 14th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1992/Nottingham [link]

  • 1st Rail Reopenings Conference - No further details available

1991/Birmingham [link]

  • 02/11/1991 13th Rail Users' Conference

  • Brian Simpson MEP

1990/London [link]

  • 12th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1989/London [link]

  • 11th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1988/London [link]

  • 10th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1987/London [link]

  • 9th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1986/London [link]

  • 8th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1985/London [link]

  • 7th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1984/London [link]

  • 6th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1983/London [link]

  • 5th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1982/London [link]

  • 4th Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1981/London [link]

  • 3rd Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1980/London [link]

  • 2nd Rail Users' Conference - No further details available

1979/London [link]

  • 1st Rail Users' Conference - No further details available


Past AGMs

Railfuture holds an Annual General Meeting each year.

Like the conferences, the locations vary each year - always with good rail connections - and are open to Railfuture members.

2017/Peterborough [link]

  • 20/05/2017 13th RDS Ltd AGM

  • Reason for Peterborough: Thameslink Programme and Greater Anglia franchise
  • Hosted by Railfuture East Anglia branch
  • Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Greater Anglia Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Phil Hutchinson, Head of Timetable Development, Thameslink and Great Northern Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Peterborough have agreed to attend and will formally open the AGM
  • Election results for the Board of Directors were announced - click HERE to see results

2016/Milton Keynes [link]

  • Reason for Milton Keynes: East West Rail
  • Hosted by Railfuture Thames Valley branch
  • Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, Parliamentary Transport Select Committee member (talked about East West Rail) Twitter Image
  • Allison Cosgrove, Chair, Railfuture Scotland (talked about Reopening of the Borders Railway in Scotland)
  • Welcome by the Worshipful the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Steve Coventry
  • Election results for the Board of Directors were announced - click HERE to see results

2015/Blackpool [link]

  • 16/05/2015 11th RDS Ltd AGM

  • Reason for Blackpool: Electrification and tram expansion
  • Hosted by Railfuture North West branch
  • Read the [Meeting Minutes] from the AGM.
  • Stephen McFarlane, Head of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, HS2 Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Welcome by the Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool Councillor Val Haynes and the Consort Alan Haynes
  • Election results for the Board of Directors were announced - click HERE to see results

2014/Sheffield [link]

  • Hosted by Railfuture Yorkshire branch
  • Read a [Press Release] about the AGM.
  • Read the [Meeting Minutes] from the AGM.
  • Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Transport Secretary and MP for Wakefield, Labour Party Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Peter Marshall, Chairman, Huddersfield Penistone Sheffield Rail Users Association
  • Chris Bell, Chairman, Don Valley Railway Twitter Image Facebook Image
  • Welcome by Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Vickie Priestley. Christian Wolmar then gave some thoughts on the current rail scene
  • Election results for the Board of Directors were announced - click HERE to see results

2013/Durham [link]

2012/Worcester [link]

  • 12/05/2012 8th RDS Ltd AGM

2011/Brighton [link]

2010/Wrexham [link]

  • 08/05/2010 6th RDS Ltd AGM

2009/Leeds [link]

2008/Coventry [link]

2007/Preston [link]

  • 12/05/2007 3rd RDS Ltd AGM

2006/Swindon [link]

  • 06/05/2006 2nd RDS Ltd AGM

  • Chris Irwin, Chairman, South West Public Transport Users' Forum (talked about Fighting the Passengers' Corner)
  • Glenda Lamont, First Great Western Twitter Image Facebook Image

2005/Peterborough [link]

  • 07/05/2005

  • Hosted by Railfuture East Anglia branch
  • Tim Phillips, Chairman, CAST.IRON (talked about Reopening the Cambridge to St. Ives Railway line)
  • James Adeshiyan, WAGN

2004/Newcastle [link]

  • 08/05/2004

  • Jim Morgan, First Group

2003/Cardiff [link]

  • 31/05/2003

2002/Nottingham [link]

  • 27/04/2002

  • Reason for Nottingham: Nottingham Tram construction
  • Colin Lee, Communications Officer, Nottingham Express Transit
  • The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Des Wilson, welcomed the society to the city; incl. site visit of construction of Nottingham Express Transit

2001/Liverpool [link]

  • 05/05/2001

  • Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General, Merseytravel
  • The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Edwin Clein welcomed Railfuture members

2000/Croydon [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1999/York [link]

  • 01/05/1999

1998/Shrewsbury [link]

  • 02/05/1998

  • David Weir, Managing Director, Wales and West Railway
  • Members were welcomed by the Mayor, Councillor Peter Dunham

1997/Norwich [link]

  • 03/05/1997

  • Lord Berkeley, Chairman, Piggyback Consortium
  • Attendees were welcomed to the city by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Rory Quinn

1996/Mansfield [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1995/Exeter [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1994/Lincoln [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1993/Ashford [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1992/Birmingham [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1991/Edinburgh [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1990/Manchester [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1989/Southampton [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1988/Leicester [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1987/Newcastle [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1986/Cardiff [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1985/Wakefield [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1984/Ely [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1983/Crewe [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1982/Reading [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1981/Sheffield [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1980/Bristol [link]

  • Details Unavailable

1979/Peterborough [link]

  • Details Unavailable


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Page last changed on 14th June 2017.

About Railfuture

Railfuture is an independent, voluntary group representing rail users in Britain with 20,000 affiliated and individual members. It is not funded by train companies, political parties or trade unions, and all members have an equal say.

Railfuture campaigns for cheap and convenient rail services for everyone; better links for buses, bikes and pedestrians; policies to get more heavy lorries on to rail; new lines, stations and freight terminals. In short, a better rail service and a bigger rail system for both passengers and freight.

Railfuture is pro-rail but not anti-road or anti-air. However, we campaign for a switch from road and air to rail. We do not interfere in the running of the railway - we campaign for the quality and range of services provided, not how they are delivered. We are the only champion of all rail users.

Railfuture is the campaigning name of the Railway Development Society Ltd.

A not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.

Registered in England and Wales No. 5011634.

Registered Office: 24 Chedworth Place, Tattingstone, Suffolk IP9 2ND.

© Copyright Railfuture 2017.

Railfuture is happy for extracts to be used by journalists, researchers and students. We would, however, appreciate a mention of Railfuture in any article, website or programme. Except with Railfuture's express written permission, no one should distribute or commercially exploit the content.

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