Over the last 18 months, Crossrail International, a strategic advisory firm owned by the Department for Transport (DfT), has been working closely with the Colombian government to help reactivate its rail sector, providing specialist advice on rail regulations, governance, skills development, capacity building, and portfolio management.
In January, I covered a visiting Colombian Rail Mission to the UK – a week-long series of events, hosted by Crossrail International (CI) – attended by senior (and friendly!) government officials from Colombia. This was CI’s most high-profile visiting delegation to date, which included a series of best practice workshops, presentations, and site visits, sharing the knowledge and experience of the United Kingdom on railway issues.
Day one of the mission focused on portfolio management and digital transformation, including presentations at DfT headquarters at Great Minster House, Bentley Systems’ head office at 20 Gracechurch Street, London, and a virtual reality experience (courtesy of Pauley). Pictured here is one of the visitors using a virtual reality headset to view a simulation of a completed project and what it will look like once it is set within its environment. Day two included a best practice workshop at the HM Treasury Building, and a site visit to the HS2 (High Speed Two) project at Euston Station.
On day three, we travelled to Birmingham for presentations at South & City College, Bordesley Green, the University of Birmingham UKRRIN Building, and a visit to the HS2 Bromford tunnel site. We had the pleasure of meeting Dr Marcelo Blumenfeld at the University where they offer courses in Future Transport Systems. Here we see a driver training simulator at the University – rather like a flight simulator!
Thanks to Stephen Long, Mark Lench (who also helped with the technical details in this write-up) and everyone at Crossrail International for having me along!