One Of the many wonderful benefits of being a member of the Chartered Institute Of Transport and Logistics is the fact that irrespective of your professional sector, membership allows you contact with people and groups you would never usually come across. Two good examples of this are the Association Of Rail Executives ( ARE ) and the Young Rail Professionals (YRP).

The reason that  I got involved was because by default I was asked by CILT, to see if Chris Ruane or Mr. Fixit as I call him could engage with the ARE so I was invited to meet with two giants of the UK Rail Industry Sir Peter Hendy CBE FCILT, is the Chairman of Network Rail, and the London Legacy Development Corporation. He was formally the Commisioner for Transport for London, and rightly credited with the success of the 2012 London “ public transport “games.

The second giant was non other than Mr Richard Brown CBE, FCILT, formally the chairman of Eurostar, as well as being a former Chair of ATOC, he is also a former board member of High Speed 2. Both of these gentlemen have been past Presidents of CILT. That tells me a lot about these dedicated men who have both independently clearly achieved great things. Both were pivotal in the establishment of the Association of Rail Executives which was designed as a group where the most senior executives from across the Rail industry meet 4 times a year for presentations and networking. It is also a showcase to identify new talent where literally rising stars are identified, mentored, and engaged.

When I met with both of these gentlemen which I did separately (one in London and one in Droitwich Spa), both were equally enthused and passionate about both the ARE and both were equally impressed with the activities of the Young Rail Professionals. This really is an excellent group of nearly 5,500 young people from across the spectrum of the Rail industry, covering all types of jobs and careers. It is a charity that manages and funds itself through a range of leading industry sponsors. Sir Peter was exceptionally impressed after he attended the gala dinner where over 400 members turned up for a very high calibre event.

Directly as a result of these meetings I was put in touch with two of the YRP’s leading lights the Chairman and one of the board members. To be honest the more that I learned the more I liked it, they have an excellent ethos which is truly inclusive, literally anyone engaged in the Rail industry can join. The only criteria is that if you have completed more than ten years in the Industry then you are deemed to old. This is brilliant as it means even old chaps like me can join.

They manage themselves by a board and allocated officers, all voluntary and the fact that they have such a huge number of members is testimony to ease of membership which is free, and the fact that is topical, fresh, and relevant. My plan is to see just what can be learned for other like minded groups in the Bus and Coach sectors, after all good practise is universal and can only be a force for good.