Rail Live is a key event in the industry calendar, with delegates from across the UK rail sector heading to Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre in Warwickshire, for an action packed two days full of exhibitions, panels, insights, collaboration hubs and more.
The 3Squared team have always enjoyed attending Rail Live over the years and heading along this year will be Martin Gleadow, Solution Architect and Graham Cooper, Head of Product and Marketing. We recently sat down with Martin to get his thoughts on what he is looking forward to at the event next week and the benefits 3Squared are reaping from the new world of events in 2022:
What are you most excited about seeing at this year’s Rail Live?
As well as catching up with people I’ve not seen for a while and enjoying networking events within the programme hosted by Rail Forum, I am also looking forward to seminars on productivity and sustainability as well as live demonstrations of rail, operations and the Network Rail Village showcasing a wide range of topics.
And of course, the British Transport Police (BTP) dogs will be there again – last year I met a gorgeous puppy just starting out on his training and look forward to hopefully seeing him again!
Why would you say it is a key industry event and what makes it so special?
Rail Live is an event like no other, being held outdoors in an operational railway location. It attracts companies from across the sector, with representation from every level within an organisation from apprentice to executive.
Sometimes with conferences and exhibitions you tend to only get a specific sector or role represented, but with Rail Live everyone is there in a very informal setting. Last year I met Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s Chief Executive, over a bacon sandwich, as well as people just starting out on their rail career.
How has the event evolved since you first started attending?
This will only be my second year at Rail Live, so it’ll be interesting to see what changes I notice from year to year. However, I understand from talking to rail industry colleagues that the event has done well at growing and evolving since it started as a rail plant show, to representing the entire supply chain.
What interesting updates from 3Squared do you anticipate delegates will be interested in hearing about at the event?
I’m looking forward to talking about the updates we have planned for our applications, the roadmaps we are putting together, and the longer-term visions we have for how digital technology can be an enabler for innovations and improvements in the planning, operation, and management of the railway. Hopefully these updates will also interest delegates!
Why is industry networking and collaboration so important at 3Squared?
Understanding what the wider industry is doing, the challenges people face, and what emerging trends are identified is key to understanding customers and ensuring our products meet the needs of the industry. There is no better way to do that than by talking to the people who operate the railway.
We don’t just want to react to changes though; we want to help, understand, and inform the future through collaboration across the supply chain to help rail deliver as much benefit to society as possible. Events like these are so important as they bring together a real cross section of people.
How have you found the new world of events (e.g., hybrid) since emerging from lockdown?
It has been great to get back to in person events. Virtual events helped to bridge the gap and webinars are a very useful tool but it’s hard to overstate the importance of face-to-face contact for really building relationships and learning more.
Plenty of lessons were learned in lockdown which will be applicable even as we relax restrictions, such as better experiences for those who aren’t able to attend in person, and I hope we continue to see technology used alongside traditional events to increase accessibility and inclusion.
How important is innovation to the future of a greener, digital rail network?
Innovation is vital when it comes to addressing the challenges of running a more efficient and sustainable rail network, but we need to be careful not to assume digital solutions will solve all problems. Done right, a digital railway will help to achieve this, but innovation needs to be a solution to a problem rather than just for the sake of innovating, and it needs to include people and process as the key components with technology acting as an enabler.
We look forward to seeing our friends and colleagues from across the industry at next week’s event! If you would like to arrange a meeting with the team, get in touch with us via [email protected]