The Rail Reform Group

The group brings together a wealth of experience, from a number of well-known rail industry managers who come from a range of different backgrounds. The Rail Reform Group is completely independent, and has no affiliation with any other bodies (See below for a list of members). The members have different political views but share a view which doesn’t want to see centralised state control with the railways starved of investment, but one which combines public accountability and social value, with efficiency.

A Railway for the Common Good!

We believe that Britain’s railways could be run in a way that makes less call on the public purse; takes pressure off Government to ‘micro-manage’ the industry; and offers high quality, reliable services to passengers

This means a modern, dynamic and entrepreneurial railway which supports the economic regeneration of the regions and offers a top quality service to passengers. A Railway for the Common Good. See our submission to the Government’s Rail Review: http://www.paulsalveson.org.uk/rail-franchising-review/

We don’t believe a return to the old BR would achieve that, but neither do we think the current system will. It has become apparent that the modern rail industry, the structure of which was conceived over 25 years ago, is no longer providing the quality of service or value for money that is required for passengers and funders.  This has recently been shown by the third collapse of the East Coast franchise, the timetable problems in May 2018 and the huge overrun to budget and time of Great Western electrification.

We need a ‘new model’ of modern enterprise which is dynamic, socially responsible and inclusive, customer-focussed and there for the long-term. We recognise that it must not cost any more than the current railway; if our approach is right, over time it will bring the call on subsidy down.

The North of England is an ideal location to develop new and better ways of delivering rail services. Historically, it has been starved of investment and passengers have had to endure poor quality services. This reached its nadir in 2018. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. The Northern ‘knowledge economy’, supported by a flourishing university sector linked by a dynamic rail network, together with a still-vibrant manufacturing sector, offers great opportunities, as well as the potential of rail to help regenerate smaller towns and more rural communities across the North whilst conserving the environment.

Members of the Rail Reform Group

  • Allan Dare (Former Strategic Development Manager, Chiltern Railways)
  • Dr. Nicola Forsdyke (Former Marketing Manager Northern, Former senior consultant Halcrow)
  • John Kitchen (former Manager, Community Rail Cumbria)
  • David Prescott (Former Rail Manager, Transport Scotland and BR regional Railways)
  • Prof. Paul Salveson (Former General Manager ACoRP, Former Group Advisor Arriva UK Trains)
  • Adrian Shooter (Former MD Chiltern Railways, MD Vivarail)
  • Michael Whitehouse, Chairman, Vintage Trains
  • Mark Barker, Former senior manager, Northern Rail

Appendix 3: Objects of the Rail Reform Group

  • To promote innovative thinking and practice in all aspects of rail policy, so that the railway may better contribute to economic development, sustainability and social inclusion, and offer good value to rail users, communities and the taxpayer.”
  • To organise events and other activities which promote the aims of the Group
  • To undertake research in relevant areas and provide appropriate services
  • To work with the rail industry, government and other relevant agencies in a collaborative way
  • To be non-party political

A Railway For the Common Good