Posting a News Article on the Accelerating Innovation in Rail group

A unique opportunity for members of this group

We grant members of this group permissions which enable signed-in members to post news articles to the group.

Note that we reserve the right to remove material deemed to be inappropriate, and permissions to post can be rescinded at any point.

Guidelines for posting a comment on someone else's article:

  • Log in - only logged-in members can post comments.
  • Click on the 'News Articles' tab.
  • In the 'News Articles' page, click on the title of the article you want to comment on.
  • Click on the 'Add Comment' link and enter your comment - be constructive.
  • Click on the 'Reply' button to post your reply.
  • Don't post anything you don't want the whole world to see - depending on the visibility of the original article - these pages may be searchable by standard Internet search tools such as Google.

Guidelines for posting a news article:

  • Make sure you are logged in.
  • Click on the News Articles tab, and click <Add new> <blogs entry>.
  • Make the headline of your article as eye-catching and specific as you can.
  • Try and make your article short and punchy and easy to read; you can also link to other materials.
  • Articles should be your own work - if you use material from somewhere/one else, please make sure you cite it correctly - you are responsible for the content of your own post.
  • Think about the audience - try to encourage response, comments and dialogue.
  • Explain how your theme fits in with other things or how it can be utilised in the context of something else, explain why it's interesting or important, pique people's interest!
  • Be original.
  • Be positive.
  • Opinions are fine, as long as you can support them with evidence!
  • If you are telling people about a technology or are seeking business or research partners, please be as clear as you can about what you are offering and what you are seeking, without compromising your intellectual property.
  • On main articles, you can use HTML (click "Source" in the WYSIWYG editor), link to other web-pages, embed video, point to files in your personal area (you'll need to upload them first). 
  • TAG YOUR POST with key words that describe your article, technology or proposal.  This is very important as it means that anyone searching on _connect for something similar, with the same words, will be signposted to your posting.  Separate each word or expression with commas.  (Find out more about tags with the Wikipedia entry.  If you want any help or advice on posting articles, contact us!)
  • Set the permissions of your post to dictate who can see it.  If you set permissions so that anyone can see it, remember that this means the whole world, as these pages are indexed and returned by standard search engines such as Google.  If you want to get your ideas, products, services and capabilities out into the world, here is an easy way to do it!
  • Make sure that your profile is up to date (log in and click on your picture in the top right hand side of the page, or click on Dashboard) and has your contact details so that if anyone wants to follow up with you on your posting, they can do so easily.

Do not.....

  • Do not post offensive material, adverts or other marketing material.  Such posts will be removed without warning, and persistent abuse will result in your blogger rights and ultimately your membership being rescinded.
  • Do not post the same content or comments over and over again in different places.
  • Do not post articles or comments that are inappropriate or out of context for their placement - we reserve the right to remove inappropriate material without warning.
  • Do not tamper with other people's posts - this is an honour system, please be considerate.

Guidelines for posting a document in your personal area (you can link to this in your post):

  • Log in - you won't be able to post anything unless you have logged in.
  • Look in the top right hand side of the page next to your picture, and click on Dashboard, then, below your long "banner" picture, click on Documents.
  • Click on Add Folder (if you haven't already created your own folder). Otherwise, select the folder you want to place your document into.
  • Click on Add > Basic Document.
  • Fill in all the fields, remembering to tag your document with relevant keywords to help other people and _connect me find it, and click upload.
  • Find and save the url, to use as the link in your blog post.
  • Write a blog article (a couple of lines if that's all you want to write) summarising the document (e.g. where it's come from, why it was written, who was involved in writing it, where it's been published, what technological areas - if any - it covers, etc) and why you think people might be interested in it and link to your document.

Quick Links

On Wednesday 25 February, Mark Carne, CEO of twelve months at Network Rail took the opportunity for delivering the 2015 George Bradshaw address at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London to "lift the bonnet" on how he wants the culture of Network Rail to change.


Mark described how by using techniques learned in the oil industry Network Rail can become a high performing organisation that is known to care about passengers, line side neighbours and communities, its own employees and contractor partners. For Mark, to talk about culture change is to talk about leadership, how to go about creating the environment that allows people to perform to their potential. "I have two central philosophies that guide my leadership of an organisation and that underpin the culture of the company I want to lead"


The first of these is that safety performance and business performance go hand in hand. "After all, to do a job safely it must be well planned, be carried out by competent, motivated people, be well-led, they must use the right equipment in the right way, All the ingredients of high performance... right first time."

Mark's second business philosophy is that everyone should have the ambition and desire to be better every day. To support their performance management approach of structured continuous improvement, Network Rail is rolling out 'control rooms' right across the company. These are cascaded, short-cycle team-based performance discussions. Ideas to improve are constantly generated, prioritised and actions defined. Process analysis techniques are used to systematically identify the opportunities to improve and progress is monitored relentlessly so that teams know how they are doing.


A couple of examples from the last six months demonstrate the success of this approach. Temporary speed restrictions have been reduced by 30% and a new approach to vegetation management has significantly improved autumn adhesion, drivers' confidence and sighting distance. Mark noted "This is basic stuff, but too often we have allowed the basics to be forgotten as we divert the organisation onto yet another fad or initiative."


Other themes key to driving a better every day mindset throughout the organisation include building stronger relationships with the operators and suppliers. Partnering with the supply chain, not commoditising it. Being transparent and open, Network Rail is coming under the Freedom of Information legislation in March. And of course, delivering an effective strategy around diversity and inclusiveness called "Everyone". As Mark mentioned " When women started becoming a much more visible presence on the oil and gas platforms in the North Sea twenty years ago, the difference they brought was profound. The extreme macho, and frankly unsafe, culture that was a a hallmark of the industry in the 1970s and 1980s changed dramatically and forever."


Andrew Adonis then questioned Mark Carne about some of the points raised before opening up to the floor and we finally got to hear about the Digital Railway.


Mark believes this is an opportunity to lay out the blueprint for a technological transformation of rail in the UK. A railway where in just 15 years Britain could lead the world in digital train control, delivering more capacity, reliability, speed and safety all at lower cost and with a smaller environmental footprint.


Lord Adonis wished Mr Carne luck with his job and the address concluded.