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HS2 Ltd to take part in IRITS Rail Summit 2015

Press Release   •   May 22, 2014 09:00 BST

International Rail Infrastructure and Technology Summit (IRITS) is proud to announce the participation of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd at IRITS 2015, which takes place in Barcelona from 18-20 February 2015. HS2 Ltd will be represented by Technical Director Prof. Andrew McNaughton.

HS2 Ltd, established by the UK government, and owned by the Department for Transport (DfT), is the company charged with delivering the HS2 high-speed rail network across the country. HS2 will improve capacity, connectivity and comfort across the rail network, shorten journey times between Britain’s major cities, drive economic growth and regeneration, and create thousands of jobs.

Phase One of the project will link London to the West Midlands and Phase Two will provide two lines from the West Midlands, forking to Leeds and Manchester.

A recent report by David Higgins, Chair of HS2 Ltd, made a number of recommendations to Government regarding HS2. This included a more comprehensive redevelopment of Euston station, an acceleration of Phase Two to take the line 43 miles further north than planned to a new transport hub at Crewe and for Government to consider whether the HS1-HS2 link, at a cost of £700 million, presented good value for money.

The Government has now decided to remove the link from the hybrid Bill for HS2 and has commissioned a study into options for improving connections to the continent which could be built once the initial stages of HS2 are complete.

Work on HS2 is due to begin in 2017, with the first journeys set to be undertaken in 2026. Overall funding for the project has been set at £42.6 billion.

Prof. Andrew McNaughton has been with HS2 Ltd since 2009, developing the principles, recommendations and route designs for HS2, as Chief Engineer and now Technical Director.

Prof. McNaughton has over 40 years’ experience in railway construction, operation and management. In addition to his role at HS2 Ltd and a number of academic appointments, Prof. McNaughton is Vice Chair of the EU Transport Advisory Group, Chair of the European Rail Research Advisory Council and Special Advisor on rail to the Australian Government. He has lectured on the transport, land use and economic planning effects of regional, freight and long distance rail development in North America, Asia and Australia as well as Europe.

Prof. McNaughton commented: “HS2 is set to transform the UK by increasing rail capacity, improving connectivity and reliability, as well as supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and acting as a very powerful catalyst for regeneration.

“HS2 Ltd has a unique opportunity to design HS2 in a way that demonstrates integrity and aspiration whilst using cutting edge technology and I welcome the opportunity to take part in next year’s IRITS Rail Summit.”

Prof. McNaughton will be a keynote speaker and VIP guest at IRITS 2015 and will take part in business meetings with participating technology solution providers as well as in networking functions during the summit.

Organisations and individuals interested in learning more about IRITS 2015 and about how they can participate in the event can visit http://www.irits.org or contact the organisers, IRITS Events.

The International Rail Infrastructure and Technology Summit (IRITS) brings together senior executives from the world's key rail operators and infrastructure management companies as well as senior government officials. The summit will feature a conference programme given by industry leaders, one-to-one business meetings with select solution providers and evening networking functions. IRITS 2015 will take place on 18-20 February 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.

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