Press Release 17th June 2014

Rail bosses to meet transport campaigners at Cambridge conference

The boss of one of Britain's largest rail franchises and Network Rail's director of freight will be amongst the speakers meeting in Cambridge this weekend.  Railfuture's annual summer conference at the University Centre will feature talks by David Statham, Managing Director of First Capital Connect and Paul McMahon from Network Rail

"The fact that the MD of Britain's largest train operator has chosen to speak at a conference organised entirely for the public, by the passengers' champion, Railfuture, shows how seriously the rail industry listens to the concerns of passengers." said Chris Burton, one of the conference organisers.

"It's also good that the top Network Rail director responsible for all freight services across Britain is coming to tell the public what they are doing to grow rail freight and take lorries off the road."

The title of the conference is "Rail: The Engine For Change — How a successful local economy and good rail service create a virtuous circle"

"Cambridge has something of a justified reputation for pushing at the frontiers of knowledge and action. In its own modest way our Railfuture Cambridge Conference is trying to do just this, by offering an agenda which focuses on the cornerstones of Railfuture's purpose: enlarging, enhancing or re-opening our railway” said Chris.

"To this end we've invited a sequence of speakers who really do know about such things, and what it takes to see projects through the detailed process to fruition. Invigorating ambition is absolutely what Railfuture is about; connecting with the organisations and people who make things happen on the railway by way of thoughtful proposals and persistent promotion."

"We can promise you a stimulating day in good company in a super, easily reached location. What's not to like?"

The Cambridge conference aims to focus on how a thriving economy around Cambridge results in a thriving railway. "It's fascinating how an apparently very anti-rail county council has become the railway's champion in just a few years. No-one could have dreamed the number of new stations and line reopenings that the bus-loving council is now considering and promoting. And, of course, there are loads of freight trains from Felixstowe now passing through the region so Network Rail will be speaking about that too" he added.

The conference is taking place on Saturday the 21st of June at the University Centre, Granta Place, Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RU between 10 am and 5 pm, and is open to everyone.

For further information and bookings please go to www.railfuture.org.uk/conferences

The full list of speakers is:
Councillor Gerri Bird, The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Cambridge will provide the opening welcome.
11:00  David Statham, Managing Director, First Capital Connect
(talking about implementation of Thameslink and its importance to high-tech Cambs)

11:45  Bob Menzies, Service Director Strategy and Development, Cambs County Council  
(talking about Cambridge Science Park station and its innovative funding)

12:10  Jeremy Smith, Transport and Infrastructure Strategy Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council (talking about Cambridgeshire transport strategy for growth)
14:05  Paul McMahon, Director of Freight, Network Rail (talking about Felixstowe to Nuneaton (F2N) and strategic rail freight network in general)
15:10  Chris Starkie, Managing Director, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (talking about Putting together the East Anglia Railway Prospectus)
15:55  George Freeman, MP for Mid-Norfolk (talking about High-tech industries in the region and Cambridge in particular and the importance of the railway to it)
16:40  Jim Chisholm, Cambridge Cycling Campaign (talking about Cycling and Walking to stations, why the utter reliability of trip time makes it quicker than driving)

The speakers listed above are all confirmed

Railfuture is grateful for sponsorship from Gonville Hotel Cambridge

Notes to editors:
For press passes or further information and comment please contact:

Chris Burton
Tel: 01223 352327 / 07780 856212

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

Railfuture's website can be found at: www.railfuture.org.uk

Follow Railfuture on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Railfuture