The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has restarted its leading engagement programme, the Rail Fellowship Programme, following suspension of its in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rail Fellowship Programme arranges for MPs and Parliamentarians to visit local railway sites, giving decision makers first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day work that goes on in the rail supply industry.
On this occasion, Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Transport, visited London Overground’s Willesden Junction depot, which was recently taken over as part of Alstom’s purchase of Bombardier.
She met with representatives of London Overground operator Arriva Rail London, talked with depot workers and witnessed the work going on on-site to keep London Overground services moving. Her tour was followed by a discussion of the challenges facing the rail industry, the impact of Coronavirus, and the progress of Alstom’s new growing business, following the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.
Following her tour, Sarah Olney MP commented: “I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit Willesden Junction depot and see first-hand the work being undertaken to help transform public transportation and boost sustainability.
“I believe it is imperative that as we rebuild our society post-pandemic and rethink the public transport we use, we embrace our environmental obligations and explore ways of drastically reducing harmful emissions.”
Max Sugarman, public affairs and PR director at the Railway Industry Association, added: “The railway industry has worked incredibly hard to continue to deliver for our country throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, keeping the UK moving and ensuring production lines continued during this difficult time.
“By relaunching the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, we have the chance to thank rail businesses on the ground and showcase their work to MPs and decision makers, highlighting just how vital the UK rail sector is to the country.
“Thank you to Sarah Olney for being the inaugural member of the RIA Rail Fellowship, Class of 2021, and for championing rail, which really is valuable to all of us who work in the sector.”