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Steer Davies Gleave hosts its first Movement Matters event in the UK focused on the future of Britain’s railways

04 April 2017

An excellent turnout of attendees joined a high-profile panel of experts at County Hall in central London, sharing an insightful discussion regarding the future of railway organisation.

Mike Goggin, Director at Steer Davies Gleave, chaired the panel and was joined by Stephen Gardner, Amtrak’s Executive VP for Planning, Technology and Public Affairs; Andrew Haines, Civil Aviation Authority’s Chief Executive; and Howard Smith, Crossrail’s Operations Director. These three eminent speakers provided stimulating and varying perspectives on the future of Britain’s railways.

A complete summary can be downloaded here.

The Future Railway Organisation

The Future Railway Organisation

The Future Railway Organisation

Event summary

The session began with Stephen Gardner, Executive Vice President for Planning, Technology and Public Affairs for Amtrak, offering his perspective from his experience in  America.

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) presented next. He joined the CAA after a wide-ranging career in the rail industry and used experience in both rail and air sectors to draw comparisons.

Howard Smith, Crossrail’s Operations Director and Chief Operating Officer for Rail at Transport for London explored lessons learned from his experience of London’s railways and contrasted the benefits of privatisation and competition with also the contribution of a stable and empower public sector.

Discussion on the presentations focused on the lessons to be learned from each other, the benefits of collaboration, of deregulation, and the difficulty stemming from fragmentation. Howard emphasised that  it becomes easier to incentivise the industry towards the benefit of customers through a more collaborative railway.


Key themes

Four common themes emerged from the presentations and the Q&A discussion:

  1. The challenge of capacity cannot be ignored, and needs collective understanding and action to resolve constraints.
  2. Creating delivery approaches which further fragment, complicate or harden rights and obligations, without ability to be flexed, would make the challenge of responding to the market and to stakeholders more difficult and more expensive.
  3. There is a need to empower management to act by removing unnecessary ‘noise’ of intra-modal conflicts.
  4. Freeing the industry from political interference and detailed and over-burdensome regulation could help to stimulate new approaches to delivering the outcomes Government wanted.


A more detailed summary with explanations on each of the presentations can be accessed here. Images of the event can be viewed here.

If you are interested in attending one of our future Movement Matters sessions, please visit for more details.

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