High Speed Conference

High Speed Rail

How the vision can best be achieved

Railfuture organised a public conference on this year's hot topic: High-Speed Rail.

It was held at Bletchley Park on Saturday 9 July 2011 from 11.00 to 16.30.

You can download the programme 

by clicking here 264kB

Railfuture and HS2 

Click here to download the full 29 page version of Railfuture's response to the HS2 consultation. 26 July 2011 (363kB).

The conference considered:
1. The recent, but sustained, success of Britain's railway, future growth and limited capacity on the existing network
2. The case for a high-speed railway to the north
3. The Government's proposed HS2 scheme
4. Criticism of, and alternatives to, the HS2 scheme
There will be an opportunity for the conference audience to discuss the issues.

The cost of attendance, which included refreshments on arrival, a buffet lunch and a conference report, was £25 for members and £30 for non-members.

This conference was fully booked.

Conference Chair

  • Railfuture was delighted to welcome the leading writer and broadcaster on transport issues, Christian Wolmar as Conference Chair.


  • Professor Andrew McNaughton - Chief Engineer of HS2 Ltd.
  • Graham Nalty - Railfuture, Network Development Committee
  • Lizzy Williams - leading campaigner against HS2/Founder of STOPHS2
  • Stephen Joseph - Campaign for Better Transport
  • Jonathan Tyler - Passenger Transport Networks

Speakers' View of the Day

Each of the five speakers were asked to give a one-minute interviews at the end of the conference. You can watch and listen to their comments in the Railfuture area of YouTube

Click here to download a 2-page transcription of their interviews. (80kB).


Mr Joyner, who works in the rail industry, said "I enjoyed the conference and was impressed with a number of the speakers. I also thought that the conference had been organised extremely well."

A Railfuture member, Mr Whiting, who has attended many of our conferences said "I am writing to say that this was one of the best conferences I have attended. All four speakers were excellent in their own way. It was also an excellent idea to ask Christian Wolmar to chair the debate. He equalled David Dimbleby! Once again many thanks for an enjoyable day and I look forward to the November conference."

Another Railfuture member, Mr Butler, said "I enjoyed the conference. it was great to hear professional people speaking with such passion and without getting upset at what others had to say. And I thought Christian Wolmar was great as a chairman."

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is five minutes' walk from Bletchley station (on the West Coast main line) and is 40 minutes by train from Bedford and 35 minutes from Euston.

It is the historic site of secret British code-breaking activities (Station X) during the Second World War and birthplace of the modern computer. The museum will be open from 09.30 to 17.00 on the day, and on Sunday 10 July. If you want to visit the museum as well as the conference, admission to the museum is £10 which allows an unlimited number of free return visits over the next 12 months.

Bletchley Park


Railfuture was delighted to welcome The Institution of Railway Operators (IRO) as an exhibitor at the conference.