Stoke showcased – Local MP spends hands-on experience of the rail industry 

29 November 2018

In the last week, local Stoke MP Jack Brereton experienced a hands-on day at two rail sites in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme. The visit was organised in partnership with the Rail Freight Group (RFG).

Jack Brereton MP (front row, second from left) and Dave Padfield, General Manager – Power Grids (back row, far left) with apprentices from ABB 

Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South and Member of the Transport Select Committee, spent the day seeing the work that goes on at two important rail sites in the region; DB Cargo and ABB Limited. 

 
Brereton was taken on a tour of facilities at DB Cargo, the UK’s largest rail freight company, and saw for himself the nuts and bolts of the process that contributes to providing the freight services they offer. He also toured ABB’s site and had the chance to witness equipment being tested, as well as meeting a number of apprentices in rail and gaining an insight into what the industry has delivered for them. 
 
His visit is part of an exciting campaign - the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme - which is showcasing the work of the UK rail supply chain by allowing Parliamentarians and influencers to gain hands-on experience in the industry. A number of MPs have now become part of the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, Class of 2018, as decision makers line up to pledge their support for the UK rail industry. Indeed, demand has been so high that a many more MPs have now already secured visits for the 2019 edition of the campaign, with applications for the remainder of places now open. 
 
Jack Brereton MP said: "The rail industry is vital to the long-term success of the UK’s economy and productivity growth. DB Cargo and ABB benefit not only Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, but make a huge contribution to the logistics industry of the whole country.
 
“We need to expand our rail network for both freight and passenger services locally in Stoke-on-Trent, helping relieve our congested roads. I was delighted recently that so many MPs attended my Westminster Hall debate last week to discuss improving rail services in North Staffordshire. I will continue to push for more investment in the network, to expand opportunities for passengers and local businesses alike, making it easier for everyone to get about.”
 
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association said: “We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Jack Brereton MP for becoming the latest MP to complete the RIA Rail Fellowship. We are proud to see MPs from up and down the country pledging their support for the rail sector by taking part in the Programme, which allows them to see for themselves the role rail plays in providing skills, investment and jobs.”
 
Richard Clarke, Head of Transport Policy, DB Cargo UK, said: "It was a great pleasure to welcome member of the Transport Committee, Jack Brereton MP to our site in Stoke-On-Trent to discuss with him our plans for future growth.

"We are Britain's largest rail freight company and as such are continuing to invest millions of pounds in expanding our services to support post Brexit business, a great example of this is our new £6m steel logistics centre in Wolverhampton. 

"Being a part of the RIA Rail Fellowship programme allows us and other members to promote the massive benefits rail freight offers to the UK, Europe and beyond."     

Dave Padfield, ABB’s General Manager for Grid Integration Substations said: “Jack Brereton’s visit was an excellent opportunity to show how the latest technology is helping to drive down the cost and risk of rail electrification projects.”
 
The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is being run by the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. RIA has more than 200 member companies and works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe, and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.
 
The rail sector is of crucial importance to the UK economy, contributing £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. 

Notes to Editors 
  1. For all media enquiries please contact: deborah.james@fieldconsulting.co.uk or telephone: 020 3826 7727.
  2. 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 2018 will be awarded at the annual RIA Parliamentary reception on Tuesday 27th November 2018. Find out more here.
  3. About the Railway Industry Association (RIA): The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the trade association for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has some 200 companies in membership, in a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.
  4. About ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex): ABB is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com

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