I was delighted to attend the rail supplier roundtable on Wednesday 24th January, run by Rail Industry Association (RIA) and hosted by Invest Northern Ireland at their Belfast headquarters. I had the privilege of sharing Camlin Rail’s experiences of working in the rail industry, sharing our approach to expanding into international markets to around 40 existing and potential rail suppliers who joined us on the day.
Paul McCollough and Caroline Brown from Translink started off proceedings by briefing us on how to do business with them and, John Collins from Arup presented a fascinating segment on the draft All-Island Strategic Rail Review - commissioned by the Department for Infrastructure in NI and the Department of Transport in the Republic of Ireland it is a visionary roadmap for transforming passenger rail services and freight across the island of Ireland.
The purpose of the draft All-Island Strategic Rail Review by Arup is to consider how the rail network on the island of Ireland could improve sustainable connectivity between the major cities, enhance regional accessibility, and support balanced regional development. The Review also considers the feasibility of higher speeds on the network and the potential to increase use of the network for freight.
Viable options for the future of rail across the island of Ireland have been identified, “with an emphasis on movements between cities, and between cities and regions, rather than within cities. It recognises key areas for improvement, including infrastructure upgrades, service enhancements, and operational streamlining. It underlines the importance of integrating technology and innovation to meet the evolving needs of passengers and freight logistics.”
One of the primary objectives is to expand and upgrade existing rail infrastructure to accommodate increased capacity and improve reliability. This includes the development of new rail lines, station upgrades, and electrification initiatives to support cleaner and more sustainable transport options.
The electrification programme proposed in the review and the decarbonisation and replacement of Translink’s Belfast-Dublin Enterprise rolling stock are exciting developments that Camlin Rail’s innovative TrainVue technology can support.
We’re setting a new standard for in-service inspection, enabling operators and infrastructure owners to understand fleet health, optimise maintenance strategies, maximise asset availability, and most importantly protect their people and passengers.”
At Camlin, we are uniquely positioned to provide expertise, with significant TrainVue projects deployed globally with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) in Italy, Amtrak in the United States, and Network Rail in the United Kingdom. These partnerships reflect our commitment to aligning our solutions with the needs of our customers.
The proposed initiatives should create a more efficient, integrated and resilient rail network that meets the needs of passengers and freight companies by enhancing mobility for everyone.
Following on from John’s presentation, David Clarke, RIA spoke about supplier opportunities in the UK, the potential for exports was summarised by Neil Walker and Invest NI’s Charles Goodier explained the support they provide.
I was privileged to tell Camlin Rail’s story to local and GB suppliers interested in working in the rail industry. I explained our rail industry journey and the lessons learned from becoming a rail supplier in 2002 to exporting worldwide today.
As a trusted partner for some of the largest rail transportation companies in the world, our rail products provide resilience for signalling power supplies for Network Rail and we provide inspection systems for fleet operators, infrastructure owners and OEMs all across the globe.
Working in tandem with our customers to solve problems they are facing across their fleet, infrastructure, and networks, our three product lines address their key metrics for safety, performance efficiency, reliability, and availability. Signet, an automated power system for signalling power supplies; TrainVue, provides in service inspection of rolling stock which reduces or eliminates the need for manual inspection and Theia, our digital software platform with dashboards and insights, presents information in a way that is useful for the railway to drive operational decisions and support business process.
It goes without saying that the support Invest Northern Ireland and the Railway Industry Association have provided along the way has been very important in our growth and is always very much appreciated.
Finally, RIA confirmed that the time was right to establish RIA Northern Ireland. No doubt they will help future NI members and add value to the rail industry in Northern Ireland.