Press release

Speakers from business, transport and academia confirmed for Birmingham HS2 ‘Vision into reality’ technical seminar

28 November 2013


A collection of high level speakers from regional businesses, transport operators and academia have agreed to take part in the Birmingham - High Speed Rail - Vision into Reality technical seminar in Birmingham on 10 December. 

Speakers will consider the specific challenges and technical issues relating to the delivery of a transport project of this magnitude for the country, and for the Midlands in particular. They will also highlight the benefits HS2 will bring to Birmingham and the Midlands, and will particularly focus on regional economic growth opportunities and their associated training and employment challenges.

The seminar is part of a regional programme of events about high speed rail across the UK that are being organised by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Parsons Brinckerhoff and HS2 Ltd.

Keynote speaker, Mark Barrow, Strategic Director of Development and Culture, Birmingham City Council, says: "The development of HS2 provides the single most important boost to the Greater Birmingham economy over the next 20 years. It will also be the single most important contributor to rebalancing the UK economy"  

Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director for HS2 Ltd, explains:  “The need for a new high speed line has never been greater. HS2 isn’t all about speed; it is about capacity, connectivity, reliability and growth. If we don’t do anything now, the West Coast Mainline will be full by the mid-2020s.

“Not only will HS2 transform rail travel and solve the crippling capacity crunch we are already facing, it will provide an engine for growth by creating thousands of jobs, acting as a catalyst for regeneration and helping rebalance the north-south economy.”

Other speakers/panellists include:

  • Paul Thandi, CEO, NEC
  • Jake Thrush, Transport Strategy Manager, Centro
  • Professor Clive Roberts, University of Birmingham
  • Jerry Blackett, CEO, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Bill Twigg, Apprenticeship Director, Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA)
  • Peter Sheppard, Chair, IET Transport Sector and Bombardier Transportation
  • Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director, HS2 Ltd
  • Laura Kidd, Head of Architecture, HS2 Ltd
  • Tom Williamson, Traction and Rolling Stock Engineer, HS2 Ltd
  • Andrew Shepherd, Technical Director, Parsons Brinckerhoff

Birmingham - High Speed Rail – Vision into Reality is being held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in the heart of the City. It is targeted at railway industry professionals, transport providers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), regional training organisations and larger regional business organisations.

To find out more about the Birmingham event and to register your interest in attending, visit http://www.theiet.org/events/2013/190268.cfm.

Further events are planned in 2014 for Manchester, Leeds, the East Midlands, and Scotland and the North East.

Media enquiries to:

Katie Stanton
Communications Executive

Tel: +44(0)1438 765608
Mob: +44(0)7738 713867
Email: kstanton@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

The IET is leading the development of an international engineering and technology community, sharing and advancing knowledge to enhance people’s lives. The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence®.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is delivering the overall railway systems design for HS2 and is programme managing the development of California’s high speed rail programme in the US. The company has also played an integral part in delivering high speed rail systems around the world including extensive networks in Taiwan and China.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is a leader in developing and operating infrastructure around the world, with approximately 14,000 employees in 150 offices dedicated to meeting the needs of clients and communities in the Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Americas, Asia and Australia-Pacific regions. Parsons Brinckerhoff offers skills and resources in strategic consulting, planning, engineering, program/construction management, and operations for all modes of infrastructure, including transportation, power, buildings and infrastructure, mining, water and the environment. (www.pbworld.com).

HS2 Ltd is the company responsible for developing and promoting the first phase of the high speed rail network from London to the West Midlands. It is undertaking the engineering, design and environmental work for this.

Parliament is required to give permission to build and operate HS2 through a specific type of bill, called a hybrid bill. HS2 Ltd was responsible for the work that enabled the Department for Transport to deposit the bill for the first phase of HS2 with Parliament on 25 November 2013.

In 2012, HS2 Ltd submitted proposals to the Secretary of State for the second part of the network from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester. The Government announced its initial preferred route to Leeds and Manchester on 28 January 2013. The initial preferred route for this second phase of the network will form the basis of a public consultation.

HS2 Ltd is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT).