CILT - Rail Study Association



Upcoming events icon (generic)

Welcome to the Railway Study Forum

CILT's latest professional Forum (RSF) has been created following a merger with the Railway Study Association (RSA).

The new Forum offers RSF members all the benefits offered previously by the RSA, but also the opportunity to engage with CILT members through our network of like-minded Rail Sector professionals. You can find out more about joining CILT here


Who are we?

Our membership includes individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, embracing operations, engineering, business planning, project management, marketing and consultancy. Now that we have merged with CILT's membership, we are able to engage with a wider network of people working in the Rail Sector.


The aim is to promote events organised by the Railway Study Forum through the auspices of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. Originally founded in 1909, the Railway Study Forum (formerly the Railway Study Association) is one of the rail industry's long-est standing bodies and sets out to improve knowledge of how railways work and operate around the world. The Railway Study Forum provides a forum for the exchange of experience, knowledge and opinion on issues relating to all aspects of the railway industry. Our membership comes from a diverse range of experience and backgrounds encompassing all areas of the railway. The Railway Study Forum arranges events ranging from regular talks from industry professionals, study trips within the UK and abroad, workshops and social events. These events provide a valuable opportunity for networking, education and personal and professional development. The forum usually meets online (Zoom meetings) or in person.

How do we do this?

  • We arrange a variety of meetings, ranging from formal lectures followed by a question and answer session to seminars, to stimulate member engagement. 
  • We organise visits and study tours to railway sites and installations both in the UK and abroad to promote understanding.
  • We encourage personal and professional development through informal networking.



  Charley Wallace
Treasurer   Peter Gordon
Active Chair    Simon Feast 
Committee Members  

Viv Nissanka


Neil Micklethwaite


Jacqueline Starr


Luke Ripley

Charlene (Charley) Wallace is director of freight, national passenger and customer at Network Rail.  Charley has over 20 years' experience in the public transport sector having previously held senior board director roles in rail and aviation.  Charley has a strong track record of delivering and leading customer-focused transformation in transport and has a wide range of transition and business change experience including – improving customer and stakeholder processes and communications, delivering customer initiatives, employee engagement and organisational change.  Charley's focus at Network Rail is with our customers and passengers. Charley is leading the change from Network Rail being just another infrastructure company to one that is on the side of passengers, freight and its many customers.

Currently Head of Passenger Service Excellence at Department for Transport, working in the Rail Passenger Services division. Simon joined British Rail as a management trainee in 1989 and has over 30 years’ experience at Government, Train Operating Company, network operations and strategic levels. Simon’s experience ranges from front line operational and commercial roles, managing major cultural changes, negotiating multi-million pound track access contracts and working with senior industry stakeholders and Ministers. Simon has been the Chair of the Railway Study Forum since June 2018 and was previously a committee member of the Railway Study Association.

Peter Gordon worked in the rail industry for 28 years in a number of roles across functions.  He completed a research degree looking at the feasibility of a large rail hub at Kings Cross and estimating how much traffic it would be likely to generate.  He took early retirement but is still active in the Rail Industry.  Apart from being involved with the CILT and RSF, Peter edits The Transport Economist, the journal of the Transport Economist Group and Chairs the Transport Statistics Users Group.

Viv is a non-practising solicitor who joined the DfT Rail Group Passenger Services within the Department for Transport in 2016 and is currently the Head of Contract Design and Management in DfT Passenger Services. Viv is an experienced commercial solicitor, with over 15 years in private practice and in-house companies, having qualified at Fieldfisher LLP. Viv has worked in the technology, media, energy and finance sectors including working on large scale public procurement bids (buy side and sell side). Viv is a contributing author to the Operational Guide to Contract and Commercial Management. Viv has been a RSF committee member since 2018.

Jac Starr currently works as CEO at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and assumed this role on 1st December 2020. RDG is a leadership organisation providing key services to the industry and facilitating transformation and strategic activity. Jac is a customer champion advocating future proof change in support of evolving customer needs. Jac has previously held roles as Chief Operating Officer at RDG, and MD of Customer. Jac has worked as an internal consultant as Director of Experience in Barclays Design Office, Head of Experience at O2 UK and Head of Customer Experience and Loyalty at Orange France. Jac also has a NED role on the Board at LiveWest (Housing Association).

Neil Micklethwaite, a qualified accountant, has worked extensively in the public transport sector; mainly rail industry, and has experience in financial services, telecommunications, media and central government. Neil joined British Rail as a management trainee in 1992 and held senior financial and commercial roles at both First Great Western and Chiltern Railways. Neil joined Stagecoach’s East Midlands Trains business from the global media company CBS Outdoor Ltd, where he was UK Bus & Rail Director. Neil’s role was expanded to Commercial & Business Development Director, Rail, taking in all franchise bidding and other Rail division development opportunities. In Spring 2019, Neil became the Group’s Business Development Director, reporting into the plc FD on the main Board. Neil took responsibility for managing Stagecoach’s remaining UK Rail interests, as well as developing the Group’s wider strategy in bus, heavy and light rail development including contract bidding, managing long-standing partnerships and diversifying with new products and assessing new markets. Neil was the chair of the Rail Delivery Group Customer Board. Neil is a Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport.

Luke Ripley is a railway planning consultant with particular interests in strategic and operational planning, timetable development, fares policy and influencing modal-shift from road and air to rail, both domestically and internationally. Following graduation from Cambridge and Cranfield, Luke’s first transport planning role took him to South Africa, where he spent about six years. Returning to Britain around the turn of the century, Luke had a spell at the then Railtrack, before moving to The Railway Consultancy and working on projects have involved travel to Denmark, Norway, Turkey, Egypt. Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, as well as various parts of Britain. As a long-standing member of the Railway Study Association, the forerunner of CILT’s Railway Study Forum, Luke has taken part in many of the RSF’s overseas study visits and has served on their respective councils for several years.

Jason has over 27 years of rail experience, working for passenger operators, Rail Delivery Group and technology suppliers. Jason has a track-record of delivering change, having been involved in several successful strategically important rail industry programmes. Jason is Principal Consultant at 3Squared, a leading technology company that delivers innovative solutions into the rail industry, where he heads up their freight activity. As well as the Rail Study Forum Committee, Jason is a member of the Data and Information Systems Interface Committee (DISIC), which provides oversite in data governance for delivery of the Rail Technical Strategy, the Joint Rail Data Action Plan and the Rail Sector Deal.

Focus Articles

Railway Study Forum Focus Article - March 2022 - View here

RSF Dinner Focus Article - February 2022 - View here

Focus Article - August 2021 - View here

Chris Loader MP event - May 2021 - View here

Getting back on board - March 2021 - View here

Australia Study Tour - December 2019 - View here

The Evolving Railway - August 2019 - View here

Transport’s Leonardo Da Vinci - April 2019 - View here

Focus Article - February 2019 - View here






Annual Dinner Invitation - April 2018

Past meetings

Letter from Neil Micklethwaite - January 2018



Andrew Haines - April 2018

Péter Connell - 5 April 2018


Focus Articles

#Diolch Tom! - December 2018 - View here

The Interview - Neil Micklethwaite talks about the Railways Study Association and the challenges facing the rail sector. - Focus November 2017


Useful Information

#Diolch Tom! - December 2018 - View here

Water Orton Control Centre visit - January 2012

RSF Study tour to Poland - April 2011

Presidential address by Mark Hopwood - October 2011

Convention in Switzerland - Sept 2010

Short study tour to Helsinki - June 2010

Visit to East London Line works - December 2009

Convention in Germany (Berlin/Hamburg) - July 2009

Midland section study tour (Scotland) - May 2009


Registered Office:

Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby
Northants, NN17 4AX
Main Switchboard: 01536 740100

Company Registration Number: 2629347 
(A Company Limited by Guarantee)
Charity Registration Number: 1004963

© The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport