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Reopening and derationalising the North East’s railways

Event organised by Railway Civil Engineers' Association

20 September 2023
18:00 - 21:00 BST (GMT+1)
York Priory Street Centre
Priory Street
York, YO1 6ET
United Kingdom

This event has now ended

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Reopening railways to provide low carbon connections and derationalising capacity constrained railways are vital to creating a connected, low carbon economy that brings people and communities together. In this free in-person event, organised jointly with NEREF, 3 key projects are outlined which will help unlock and improve rail transport in the North East.

  • Delivering Metro Flow: the UK’s first train-tram - Tom Hardwick will outline the challenges of introducing the UK’s first train-tram to replace the rolling stock on the Tyne & Wear Metro.
  • The Northumberland Line - Simon Middleton will outline this key project to reconnect communities in the North East to the national rail network for the first time in 50 years.
  • York 3rd Line: York area capacity and performance - Jonathan Buttery will give an overview of the project to increase capacity for trains north of York, improving rail services on the East Coast Mainline, Transpennine, and local rail routes.

There will be a buffet with refreshments prior to the event and an opportunity for audience questions and answers from the panel after each talk.

Organised by

The Railway Civil Engineers Association

The Railway Civil Engineers Association

The RCEA promotes professional development and knowledge transfer in railway engineering with areas of interest including main line, metros, London Underground and light rail.


18:00 - 18:30

Refreshments and welcome

18:30 - 18:40

Event introduction

18:40 - 19:20

Delivering Metro Flow, the UK's first train-tram - Tom Hardwick, Nexus

19:20 - 20:00

The Northumberland Line - Simon Middleton, AECOM

20:00 - 20:40

York's 3rd Line: York area capacity and performance - Jonathan Buttery, Cenral Rail Systems Alliance & Atkins

20:40 - 21:00

Event round up


Meeting closed


Jonathan Buttery

Jonathan Buttery

Central Rail Systems Alliance (Atkins)

contract engineer manager & lead design organisation

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Jonathan Buttery

Career railway civil engineer, Jonathan started as a graduate with British Rail Infrastructure Services in 1994, before moving to Owen Williams Railways in York in 1998, and then Atkins in 2000. He progressed from graduate to Resident Engineer to Chartered Civil Engineer, before becoming a contractors engineering manager (CEM) on multidisciplinary railway projects – including Felixstowe Branch Capacity Enhancement, Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS) and now York Area Capacity and Performance as lead design organisation (LDO) and CEM for the Central Rail Systems Alliance (CRSA).

Simon Middleton

Simon Middleton


Rail Director, Eastern

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Simon Middleton

With over 20 years’ experience working in the rail industry in the UK and with some international experience. The majority of Simon’s experience has been in relation to track renewals and asset management and innovative use of performance modelling tools to develop cost effective and efficient asset management strategies. Also involved in areas relating to project initialisation and alternative delivery. This has related to rail projects promoted and delivered by 3rd parties including the development and delivery of new stations and route upgrades.

Based in York and responsible for AECOM’s Rail business in the Eastern Region, aligned to Network Rail’s regional structure and routes in including Anglia, East Midlands, East Coast and North and East.

Tom Hardwick

Tom Hardwick


Head of System Development

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Tom Hardwick

Tom leads System Development within Nexus. The current focus of his teams are the replacement of the Tyne and Wear Metro’s signaling system and the extension of the network to Washington in Sunderland.

Before becoming head of system development Tom was head of Metro Flow. The £104million Metro Flow project saw Nexus take ownership of a Network Rail Branch line, merge it into the Tyne and Wear Metro Network and create a dual track, dual use line, increasing the Metro network’s resilience and capacity whilst retaining freight access. Since joining Nexus in 2008 Tom has worked on a wide range of pivotal projects including the introduction of smart ticketing on the Tyne and Wear Metro through the innovative ‘Pop card’ and the replacement of the networks train radio system.

For more information please contact:

Fiona Oteng