Thanks to all who attended Digital Rail Live 2023!

Posted: 27 October 2023 | | No comments yet

This year, Global Railway Review’s annual event, Digital Rail Live, took place at the impressive Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington on Wednesday 20th September.  For the first time, this event was partnered with the Transport Innovation Summit from our sister-brand Intelligent Transport.

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The Digital Rail conference consisted of multiple expert panels, covering topics such as BIM & Digital Twins, Digitalising Track Maintenance, Delivering Digital Automatic Coupling and more! These panels were studded with a mixture of Fireside Chats, Project presentations and priceless Networking breaks.


The event space was packed as the day began, with attendees and speakers from across the industry and around the world, including HS2, Network Rail, TFL, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), LNER and Danish State Railways (DSB) to name a few.

“It was great being part of the day and I took a considerable amount from the whole experience, and of course gained a few connections along the way.”Howard Pugh, Head of Operations Technical Learning MTR Elizabeth Line. BIM & Digital Twin panellist.

The conference ran alongside the Transport Innovation Summit and shared networking spaces, allowing for attendees from both conferences to meet and mingle between sessions. In these networking spaces was an exhibition from some of the biggest names in the rail and transport industries, including: Bentley Systems, Thales, Smith Institute, Siemens, Hitachi, BT, Arriva, Alstom and more.

“A really interesting day attending Digital Rail Live 2023, presented by Global Railway Review. I’ve certainly learned a lot today! I particularly enjoyed the session dedicated to discussing “is this a critical time for digital rail signalling and train control?”… Some really insightful points raised on the importance of interoperability between new and old signalling systems and the specificity of inferred event data causality being critical for unlocking actual predict and prevent benefits in an otherwise vast ocean of data. Great to be newly introduced to industry colleagues and catch up with some familiar faces.”- William Broad, Customer Strategy Executive, Omnicom Balfour Beatty.


Official Chair for the Day, Andy Doherty, steered the proceedings with an expert hand, through moderating various panels and starting the day with a presentation of the Global Centre for Rail Excellence’s newest project, the rail innovation centre in South Wales, UK. 

It was a really useful event, a good mix of infrastructure, operations and suppliers, featuring current developments, short-term advances and longer-term programmes. As Rail Baltica is a greenfield project, it’s important we use both current best practice and a forward-looking approach, so this event was a great combination.“- Andy Billington, Innovation and Digital Architecture at RB Rail AS, Rail Baltica. Rail Signalling and Train Control panellist.


With so many brilliant perspectives from across the industry discussing the topics of the agenda, it was inevitable that other pressing topics causing a stir in the industry would come to light. These included:

  • The importance of Data, how it can be best harnessed for rail and whether sharing data is actually a good idea or a dangerous possibility.  
  • How to attract the next generation to the industry and who we would be looking for when hiring to a more digital role.
  • The impact of Government changes to big projects and how this impacts the industry as a whole in various locations.
  • As some rail infrastructure turns almost 200 years old, how can new digital tools be used to improve efficiency, sustainability and maintenance?
  • What is the true power of collaboration and has the rail industry been closed-off for too long?

Sam Bemment, Co-Founder at Universal Signalling Digital Monitoring & Maintenance panel Moderator:

You’ve crossed the infrastructure-owner rolling stock-operator boundary there and you said that Network Rail have been a fantastic collaborator. How did you align the benefits and potential costs of that solution?

Ross Welham, Lead Research and Innovation Manager, LNER Digital Monitoring & Maintenance panellist:

This was quite an easy one because the costs are so high. Unfortunately, when you do hit deer in this instance, the train has to stop. Obviously, there’s delays and there’s a cost to Network Rail, not just LNER.  We are one operator on the east coast, so it’s not just our problem. Network Rail have been looking at deer deterrent solutions and what they’ve been delivering so far is essentially very tall fencing and what we are deploying is a fraction of the cost and it’s extremely easy to install. We installed a mile section in a day that’s both sides of the track and that was with four people and there’s no possession needed. It is really easily deployable. The benefits for both are quite obvious. It was probably one of the easiest business cases I think I’ve ever written!

For all those who were unable to attend or wish to relive the experience of Digital Rail Live this year, a virtual book containing roundtables, audio recordings and features from the event will be available to download this December. 

Sign up for Digital Rail 2024


The future of rail transportation. Experts and pioneers from across the global rail sector, will join us at next year’s event as we delve into the latest digital technologies, sustainable practices, and transformative trends reshaping the railways and be part of the journey towards a smarter, greener, and more connected future for rail transport.

Register your interest today

Mark your diaries to join us and visionary leaders, industry experts, and innovators.

WHEN: 23-24 October 2024

WHERE: Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London Kensington


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