HRA Spring Conference 2024
The opportunity to meet and connect with fellow railway professionals.
5/6 March 2024
Venue Cymru, Penrhyn Crescent, Llandudno LL30 1BB
This event is kindly sponsored by The Railway Magazine and Heritage Railway Magazine.
With the 2024 season upon us, our Spring Conference opens-up the issues facing heritage rail, asks the awkward questions and discusses how we refresh, re-invent and prosper.
(Please note: Tickets are for the Conference only and do not include hotel accommodation or any other costs attendees may incur in attending this event.)
Headlining our conference are our keynote speakers:
Michael Whitehouse - Chairman, Vintage Trains Charitable Trust
Tina Hughes MBE
Additional speakers and contributors confirmed so far include:
Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill
Paul Churchman - Chairman, Bluebell Railway PLC
Chris Austin - Secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail
Nicola Reincke - Safety & Quality Manager, Llangollen Railway Trust
Sipho Ndlovu - non-executive trustee, Vintage Trains
Dr Mike Galer - General Manager, Crich Tramway Village & National Tramway Museum
Jon Beardsmore - Business Development Director, Bluebell Rly
Matt Green - Director of Safety, Compliance and Operations, NYMR
Nick Griffiths - Safety & Development Manager, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway
Clive Robey - Level Crossing Manager, West Somerset Railway/Operations Director,
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
Nick Hill - Mobile Operations Manager, North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Phil Marsh - Railway 200 Special Advisor, GBRTT
Mike Lamport – member, Railway 200 Steering Group
Simon Barber - HM Principal Inspector of Railways, ORR
Luke Ryan - Media Creator, Talyllyn Railway
What previous attendees had to say about HRA conferences:
“The chance to get away from the everyday business of the railway and to meet others facing the same challenges as we are."
“The opportunity to meet and connect with fellow railway professionals.”
“Excellent programme - well worth attending.”
“The range of speakers and topics covered was excellent and very interesting, and I came away with a number of ideas which could be used.”
“Good range of topics covered to a good quality”
“This was the first one that I have ever attended and I came away with the perception that this was a good use of my time.”
New for 2024
Pre-conference visit to Boston Lodge
Monday, 4 March 2024 - From 2pm
Paul Lewin, Director and General Manager, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, invites Spring Conference delegates to visit Boston Lodge which is subject to a £5m project, part-funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
This is an opportunity to see the project 3 months ahead of completion and it’s launch tothe public, plus a chance to share insights and lessons learnt.
(If you wish to attend, please email Kaz Spring at the F&WHR at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees will need to make their own way to Boston Lodge)
Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Topics confirmed or being planned include:
- Differing perspectives on safety and safety management
- ‘Standards’ for heritage rail
- Level crossing risk
- Working at Height
- The regulatory bit:
– Change management
- Level crossing signage
- Preparing for the season!
- AI and The Importance of Creatives
- A need, a want or a vanity project? - Case study on refocussing and reshaping a heritage railway for the next decade
- Opportunity to visit Middle Station on the Great Orme Tramway.
Wednesday, 6 March 2024
Topics confirmed or being planned include:
- ‘Ninety seconds to midnight’ – The imperatives for changing direction, working together and delivering what people want to buy
- The Panel – airing the issues raised and offering solutions
- The General Election, Boundary Changes and what it means for Heritage Rail
- A Vision for Railway 200 – Bluebell Railway
- Railway 200 - Workshop on the opportunities ahead
- Thinking museum - What actually is a Museum?!
- Practical Interpretation
- Vehicles, archive and artefacts – Understanding their value
- The HRA’s 2024 Annual General Meeting
The full programme is still being finalised and is therefore subject to amendment as circumstances in finalising speakers and topics may dictate.
Both days present an excellent opportunity for meeting, networking and sharing information and ideas with colleagues from other HRA Members.
Tea/coffee and a buffet lunch will be provided on both days.
This is the event not to be missed if you are in a position of responsibility at your heritage railway, tramway or rolling stock group.
For those staying overnight on Monday and/or Tuesday, a nearby pub venue is being organised to ensure there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and network with friends and colleagues during the evenings.