Rail Forum shares key considerations for effective collaboration

Rail Forum’s Infrastructure Collaboration event on Tuesday 1 November in Goole built on one of the key takeaways from our Annual Conference in October, in which many presenters commented on the value and benefit of collaboration across the rail industry and with government, academia and wider stakeholders. It is broadly accepted that companies ought to actively embrace opportunities to work together so that we can deliver a better, simpler railway.

At our Infrastructure Collaboration event, the speakers shared some great insights and best practice with delegates on how to approach collaboration to ensure it is effective. For collaboration to work it must be a win-win for all parties involved and understanding a potential partners’ strengths and key objectives, while also communicating your own, is essential.

Key considerations referenced when looking to collaborate included alignment of objectives, split of scope, agreeing who is best placed to deliver, understanding risk appetite and margin expectations. The necessity of contracts to help relationships was also emphasised.

Ben Higgens, Engagement Manager – Rail Infrastructure at Rail Forum, said: “Given how important collaboration is and will continue to be moving forward in the industry, we are keen that it does not become another buzzword. By providing an opportunity for our members to hear best practice case studies, key considerations for when looking to collaborate, and also a legal perspective, they are better placed to collaborate effectively.

“There are great success stories and examples of collaboration happening within rail and specifically between our members, and we feel it important to broadcast these and celebrate the benefit that collaboration can bring to our members and the industry.

“The event was purposely interactive in parts to ensure it was as engaging and informative as possible. The ample time for networking was also key, as where else to start working collaboratively than at an event all about collaboration.”

Graham Shaw, Business Development Manager & Framework Lead at Volker Rail, said: “I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences of collaboration with the Rail Forum at the collaboration event in Goole. The sessions were really positive and interactive, allowing everyone to share knowledge and best practise across the industry with our colleagues. I look forward to taking part in future events hosted by Rail Forum.”

Rail Forum will be hosting InfraTalk once again on 26 January 2023, an online networking event like no other. Its format promises fast networking for the railway infrastructure sector with no PowerPoints and no formal appointments; a great opportunity to find potential collaborators.

Connecting businesses is one of the key deliverables of the Rail Forum and the collaborative nature of our members and the industry are to be commended. We are always delighted when our members succeed in working together and enjoy seeing the benefits this brings to the industry that we are so passionate about.

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