The Future of Rail Safety Debate
Safety on the Railway is a key priority for the whole sector from industry bodies such as the Rail Industry Association (RIA) through to Network Rail and SMEs such as AssessTech.

We are all driven by the same factor – keeping the railway and the people that work and use it safe.

We were invited to join a panel organised by Rail Technology Magazine focused on the Future of Rail Safety. Our CEO Gabriel Stroud joined Dr Sam Bemment from RIA, Dr Christopher Ward from Loughborough University and Ken Vine from Network Rail where we explored how safety is a significant element of the process around technological adoption and the strategies required to ensure it evolves in tandem with digital technology’s uptake.

Gabe said, “Competence Management is in its infancy on the railway. We’re only at the start of our journey to understand how to utilise the data we are collecting more effectively. Electronic competence management gives individuals the ability to manage their own competence and with tools like this at their fingertips, this can significantly influence safety on the railway.”

Ian Prosser CBE from ORR said during the Trackside Safety Leaders Debate earlier in the day said that, as a sector, we need to be able to implement technology quicker to drive innovation. With challenges such as automation, perception, and lack of places to test and adopt technological innovation, the railway industry needs to find strategies to adopt good innovation in their ‘business as usual’ processes.

Dr Sam Bemment, RIA said, “The Railway industry has clients and companies who are innovating; creating solutions to do things better, faster and cheaper.  But often it is an uphill struggle, and the stumbling block is having a place to demonstrate innovations, or later, turning what is an innovation with clear benefits into business as usual. This requires change, effort, and long-term support, including funding.”

Catch up on the Future of Rail Safety panel discussion by watching the full video to the left, or on the RTM channel.