Working together for a better railway

Rail Partners' Conference at RSN 2024

4 July 2024 - 10am to 3pm

The highly successful 'Rail Partners' conference returns for the 2024 Rolling Stock Networking Event

Themes this year will be “Enabling innovation in rolling stock and Transforming depots.

How can innovation deliver higher performing and more cost-effective rolling stock for new and existing fleets?

How can depots enable a high performing railway and create great places to work?

Speakers and Panellists from:-

EVENT HOST: Mark Gaynor, Director of Operator Services, Rail Partners


Mark has most recently been the Head of Railway Strategy at the Rail Delivery Group where his focus was on improving the performance and planning of the railway. Mark also led on sustainability within RDG as a member of the Rail Industry Decarbonisation Taskforce – which has developed a vision for how the railway can fully decarbonise – and the Sustainable Rail Leadership Group.


Mark worked at the Department for Transport, before joining RDG in 2017.  During his time in the department he worked on issues including the development of road vehicle safety standards, introducing new tax systems and incentives to encourage cleaner vehicles, developing the business cases for rail electrification schemes and leading the rail input to the Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy.

EVENT HOST: Neil Ovenden, head of engineering, Rail Partners


Neil has over 35 years professional engineering experience across the rail, white goods and energy sectors. He has worked in rail for nearly 20 years and was most recently head of engineering at Rail Delivery Group, where he led a small team of professional rolling stock engineers leading on fleet performance measurement and reporting, fleet safety and standards, innovation and technology across rail.


Neil brings significant experience in serving and delivering at a sustained high level for a member focused organisation from his time at RDG and before that at ATOC.

Ben Parry, engineering director, Greater Anglia 


Benjamin is the interim engineering director for Greater Anglia, with a career spanning both supply chain and railway operations. He led several R&D programmes to develop innovative rolling stock products whilst at Bombardier. He is currently focussed on delivering operational excellent for passengers in the East of England.

Matt Prosser, asset management director, Angel Trains 


Matt is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with 28 years of experience in rolling stock engineering and leadership.  He joined Angel Trains in 2019 where he leads the Asset Management Directorate.  Prior to joining Angel Trains, Matthew spent 14 years at Arriva with roles as Engineering and Safety Director at Chiltern Railways and Engineering Director at Arriva Trains Wales.  Matthew started his career in the railways as a management trainee at Eurostar.

Kelly Warburton, chief commercial office, Global Centre for Rail Excellence


Previously Managing Director of UK and Europe for Unipart Rail, Kelly began her rail industry career with Alstom in 2001. She joined NRS, now Unipart Rail, in 2004 and worked her way up through the commercial division before becoming a member of the Unipart Rail Board and Group leadership team. She is also a Board member of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) and judge of the Everywoman in Transport Programme.

Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain, innovation manager, East West Rail


Daisy is the innovation manager at East West Rail; with a passion for transport transformation, accessibility, sustainability, and inclusion. She delivers innovation into this nationally significant railway project, which will deliver much-needed transport connections for communities between Oxford and Cambridge. Her main goal is to make rail better for all customers; safer, accessible, and enjoyable.  Daisy is also a non-exec board member for the Community Rail Network.


Steve Mitchell, head of fleet north, Greater Anglia


Steve is the head of fleet north for Greater Anglia. He has overall responsibility for the successful

delivery of the Class 745/755 trains into service each day and management of the maintenance contract with Stadler. Prior to this he has held roles in Greater Anglia, as the Joint Project Manager for Stadler Fleet

Introduction, Engineering Director, Head of Engineering and Fleet Manager. Prior to this he worked for ALSTOM as the Engineering Manager for their “Metrotrains” division, helping to introduce the 95TS into service.

James McCaffery, UK head of programmes, Stadler


James is the UK head of programmes at Stadler Rail Service UK, and was appointed in 2023. He joined Stadler in 2021 as the programme lead for a major rolling stock overhaul initiative in Newcastle and then moved on to be the programme lead for the award winning Depot construction project in Gosforth, Newcastle.


In his current role, he acts as programme director for the introduction of the class 777 fleet in Liverpool and the programme director for the introduction of the class 555 fleet in Newcastle upon Tyne.  He is responsible for the coordination and delivery of all new Stadler projects within the UK with oversight of projects in Glasgow, Leicester and Cardiff, as part of a wider Stadler portfolio.


James spent most of his early career in the army, primarily in rapid reaction units. He left with the rank of Major, moving to take up the role of Head of Service Delivery for the Tyne and Wear Metro, before joining Stadler.

Cat Appleby, membership and engagement director, Rail Forum


Cat is the membership and engagement director for the Rail Forum, having joined the Rail Forum team in 2019, and as a Board Member prior to this from 2016. In her role she has steadily grown the membership to its current level of 390 nationally and shaped the membership offer including developing the unique account management model. Prior to joining the Forum, Cat was Customer Account Director for a rolling stock modifications company. She spent many years working with rail and engineering firms in the UK and overseas supporting both inward investment and export activities with local, regional & national Government departments. This expertise continues to support Rail Forum activities and member aspirations for international growth.

Richard Carr, business engagement manager, Rail Industry Association


Richard supports RIA members by engaging and influencing key decision-makers in the regions, delivering networking and intelligence-sharing events, and supporting the delivery of the RIA Nations & Regions priorities.


Richard has extensive experience working in the rail sector, having worked as Owner and Managing Director of rail equipment manufacturer Mechan for 20 years, and having provided consultancy services for the University of Huddersfield and several supply chain companies. He was also an active member of the Rail Supply Group SME and Export workstreams and helped establish the Rail Sector Deal SME Collaboration pilot scheme.

2024 – A Conference by Rail Partners




Simply turn up to this event.  Registering to attend RSN is all you need to access this promising event.

The conference – held upstairs, above the main exhibition hall – begins at circa 10am and runs through until circa 3pm. 

Exact timings will be published here in the conference timetable.

The speakers will be announced on this page and simultaneously by Rail Partners.


About the host

The mission of Rail Partners is to make the railway better by harnessing the expertise and creativity of private sector operators for the benefit of those who use the railway, passengers and freight customers, and those who pay for it, including taxpayers.

Rail Partners brings together independent owning groups, train and freight operating companies.

Between them, our members have hundreds of years of experience on Britain’s railway and have moved tens of billions of passengers and billions of pounds worth of goods.

Their experience, dedication, creativity and investment helped transform the industry over the last 25 years, they’re committed to ensuring a sustainable future for the industry, our customers and the wider economy.

Rail Partners members are international transport companies delivering passenger and freight services globally.

Conference information

The Conference at RSN 2024 is not organised by Rolling Stock Networking and is organised by Rail Partners.

Rolling Stock Networking provides space to those third parties and each sub-event is entirely in the control of the respective organisers.

These complementary events in airline style seated format are expected to deliver a series of engaging programmes with a full programme of sub events during the day with speakers and topics focusing on the wider rail industry, its challenges and specifically in building a better railway.

What our customers are saying

“161 Brochures taken and 9 Zoom calls booked over 3 days next week – that is what I call networking!

“It has been an unbelievable event for me.”

– Martin Whitbread, the Orange Train Wash Company