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Rail Fellowship visit with Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson highlights value of rail to Wales

29 October 2019

  • Baroness Randerson, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson has become the first peer to complete the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) RIA Rail Fellowship, visiting a depot and train driver training centre in Cardiff;
  • The Programme continues to grow, attracting Cabinet Ministers, Select Committee Chairs, cross-party MPs, Assembly Members, and now its first Peer
  • Programme showcases the rail supply chain to politicians, giving hands-on experience in the industry
  • Baroness Randerson visited Cardiff on Friday for her visit to Transport for Wales’ Canton Depot, and driver training facility, where she met with apprentices and saw how the organisation is dealing with leaves on the line.

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson in the Lords, Baroness Randerson received a tour of Transport for Wales’ Canton Depot in Cardiff, which included meeting apprentices and front-line staff who were at work on site and seeing how the Depot is preparing for increased leaves on the line over Winter, to minimise disruption. Randerson was then taken to Cardiff Central Station’s driver training facility and was given the opportunity to test drive a train herself using an advanced simulator on site which replicates the experience.
The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme started last year with the aim of bringing politicians on to rail sites and showing them the work of the UK rail supply chain with a hands-on experience. No one could have predicted the number and calibre of politicians who have been keen to take part in the 18 months that has followed. Randerson joins Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP, former Transport Secretary, Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Chris Heaton-Harris, Rail Minister, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and may more in completing visits. The success of the programme among MPs has led to RIA making the decision to expand the programme into the second Chamber. 
Baroness Randerson, Liberal Democrat Lords Transport Spokesperson said: “I had an excellent experience visiting Transport for Wales and getting a hands-on picture of the work that goes on in the depot day-to-day. From meeting the staff to driving a train simulator myself the day was greatly informative.” 
“I am pleased to have become the first Peer to embark on the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme and I encourage my colleagues to get involved as well.”
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of RIA said: “We are very proud of the growth of the RIA Rail Fellowship programme, and it’s fantastic to have Baroness Randerson’s visit the rail industry in Cardiff to see the vital work they do. The programme is helping to increase contact between politicians and industry, and by doing so, is shining a light on the unsung heroes of our supply chain.
“I’d like to personally thank Baroness Randerson and Transport for Wales for making this visit happen.”
James Price, Chief Executive, Transport for Wales, said: “Thank you to Baroness Randerson and RIA for organising this visit as part of the Rail Fellowship Programme. The hard work that our apprentices, engineers and all other staff undertake deserves all the recognition it can get, and through visits like this one we are able to promote the value the rail industry and the hard work of our staff that goes into keeping Wales’ railways running”

Notes to Editors 
  1. For all media enquiries please contact: [email protected] or telephone: 020 3962 9001
  2. About the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme: The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is an exciting opportunity for UK parliamentarians and commentators to gain an insight into the valuable work of the UK rail supply chain at a RIA Member location. “Fellows” spend a day ‘on location’ with a RIA Member whose work is relevant to their role or constituency and experience opportunities reflecting the great diversity of technical disciplines within the rail sector. Candidates are gaining an invaluable understanding of a diverse workforce that together contribute £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people.  The RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2019 will be awarded at the annual RIA Parliamentary reception on Tuesday 26th November 2019. For more information, see here
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