Railfuture's Rail Recovery - how to realise the potential webinar on had four speakers from (or involved with) the rail industry. They were specially chosen as they represented organisations or had experience to offer expert advice and/or take the necessary actions to encourage the public to use our railway.
Rail travel must be safe, value for money, punctual, convenient and enjoyable. Our speakers have a background defining/operating train services and understanding what passengers want and need.
Steve White joined Southeastern on Monday 11 October 2021 (six days before the operator was transferred to government operation under the Department for Transport's 'Operator of Last Resort' company).
Steve moved from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), where he had been Deputy Chief Executive from July 2019, having started at GTR in September 2018 as Chief Operating Officer, just months after the notorious May 2018 timetable 'meltdown'.
During his time at GTR the operator introduced several timetable changes, initially to recover the service and rebuild passenger confidence, introduce planned improvements and then to cope with COVID-19.
He started his rail career at British Rail in 1991. Early in his career, Steve worked for Eurostar and Silverlink, later moving to Transport for London as Operations Director and then Implementation Director to bring the 'Digital Railway' to the London Underground Sub-Surface Network.
Suzanne Donnelly has more than 25 years experience in the rail and airline sectors. She has been on secondment to the Rail Revenue Recovery Group (RRRG) which is focussed on accelerating the recovery of passenger volumes and revenue following the collapse in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suzanne was involved in the introductions on six-month booking horizons (rather than the normal three months), the 'ebay style' first class auction app 'Seatfrog', the rollout of purchase-on-the-day advance fares and a pilot for a simplified, single-leg-based fares structure.
Suzanne's job title in the GBR Transition Team is Programme Director, Passenger Revenue.
Stewart Palmer joined the British Rail (BR) management training scheme in 1972 and was allocated to the South Western division of the Southern Region, where he worked in a variety of operations jobs, and also in BR's Eastern and London Midland regions. In 1995 he joined Railtrack (the predecessor of Network Rail) with responsibilities for setting up and managing its contracts with various suppliers in the rail industry. He the moved to Connex followed by South Western Trains, becoming Managing Director in 2006, and stayed there until his retirement in 2009.
Stewart was appointed a Railfuture Vice President by members at the 2014 AGM, and elected as a director in 2015. He has taken the role of Corporate Government Director at Raifuture and provides valuable knowledge and experience in many of Railfuture's campaigns. He is involved with several smaller voluntary rail groups, some charitable, and occasionally provides specialist consultancy to the railway.
Ian Brown also started his rail career at British Rail (BR) as a graduate trainee. His long BR career is too varied to list everything. It included managing director of Railfreight Distribution and chief passenger manager at London Midland region. Ian spent 10 years at Transport for London, with achievements including transformation of the Docklands Light Railway, establishment of London Overground, the major extension of the East London Line, the integration of Croydon Tramlink into TfL and the expansion of Oyster pay as you go to all National Rail stations in Greater London. He retired in 2011 as Managing Director of London Rail, being honoured with a CBE.
He has been policy adviser to SNCF in France and continues to provide rail consultancy with clients in the United States and Canada.
Also see: [Why you Should attend].
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