The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Parsons Brinckerhoff and HS2 Ltd, are collaborating on a regional programme of knowledge dissemination on high speed rail across the UK. The programme provides a forum to discuss the technical solutions, challenges and innovations being developed for the project, and the broader benefits to the regions in terms of increased capacity, connectivity and economic growth.

The next event will be held in Manchester on 18 March 2014 and will include presentations and discussions involving senior management from HS2, regional businesses and regional transport bodies, along with senior project engineers from Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Tim Smart, Head of Engineering Operations at HS2 Ltd and a keynote speaker, explains: 

This event is an ideal opportunity to look at the technical challenges in delivering HS2, an infrastructure investment that will bring enormous benefits to the region by freeing up much-needed space on the railway, shortening journey times between our biggest cities and boosting the local economy through regeneration and job creation.

‘Manchester – High Speed Rail – Vision into Reality’ is being held at the Midland Hotel in the heart of the City. It is targeted at railway industry professionals, transport providers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), regional training organisations and larger regional business organisations.

The event will highlight the benefits HS2 will bring to Manchester and the North West, and will particularly focus on regional economic growth opportunities and the transport connectivity benefits. It will also consider some of the specific challenges and technical issues involved in delivering a transport project of this magnitude overall, and to the North West in particular.

Chairperson for the day, Peter Sheppard, Chair of the IET Transport Sector, said:

The IET is focused on sharing and advancing engineering intelligence, so this series of technical seminars are a great opportunity for discussion and knowledge dissemination within the regions involved in the project. Politics aside, this initiative will involve significant technical challenges that will make it one of the greatest British engineering feats of modern times, so this event will be of high interest to any engineering professional.

Darren Reed, Head of Rail at Parsons Brinckerhoff, which is responsible for the railway systems design for HS2, notes: 

Sharing knowledge and experience is a critical part of developing a project as complex as HS2. We hope it will inspire a new generation of British engineers with its cutting edge engineering innovation. Through our role as rail systems engineers for HS2, delivery partner for Manchester Metrolink, and engineering consultant for the Network Rail North of England Programme, we are able to add real value to each of these interconnected projects and have a unique perspective on transport connectivity in the region.

To find out more about the Manchester event and to register your interest in attending, visit

The Manchester seminar follows successful previous events last year in London and Birmingham. Future events are also planned for the coming months in Derby and Leeds. Details of previous seminars can be found at 

The IET is leading the development of an international engineering and technology community, sharing and advancing knowledge to enhance people’s lives. The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence®.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is delivering the overall railway systems design for HS2 and is programme managing the development of California’s high speed rail programme in the US. The company has also played an integral part in delivering high speed rail systems around the world including extensive networks in Taiwan and China.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is a leader in developing and operating infrastructure around the world, with approximately 14,000 employees in 150 offices dedicated to meeting the needs of clients and communities in the Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Americas, Asia and Australia-Pacific regions. Parsons Brinckerhoff offers skills and resources in strategic consulting, planning, engineering, program/construction management, and operations for all modes of infrastructure, including transportation, power, buildings and infrastructure, mining, water and the environment. (

HS2 Ltd is the company responsible for developing and promoting the first phase of the high speed rail network from London to the West Midlands. It is undertaking the engineering, design and environmental work for this. Parliament will need to give permission to build and operate HS2 through a specific type of bill, called a hybrid bill. The bill for the first phase of HS2 was deposited in Parliament on 25 November 2013. In 2012, HS2 Ltd submitted proposals to the Secretary of State for the second part of the network from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester. The Government announced its initial preferred route to Leeds and Manchester on 28 January 2013. The initial preferred route for this second phase of the network is currently out for consultation. The consultation closed on 31 January 2014. HS2 Ltd is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT).