After spending the weekend in London, the Monday is when official meeting starts.
Monday, 26 September 2016
The morning was spent with the UK Borderforce at St Pancras Railway Station discussing High Speed Rail security matters. We wanted to understand the challenges of cross border rail (Eurostar connects London and Paris) and what could be done to make it better.
After the meeting, we were taken for a site visit at St Pancras to inspect the security process, the platform and the Eurostar high speed train.
In the afternoon, we participated in the 1Malaysia Promotion Program (1MPP) at The Kensington Close Hotel. The 1MPP was part of the Malaysia Fest (refer to yesterday’s blog post) to promote Malaysia. Our CEO was invited by the co-host, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), to speak on public transport initiatives in Malaysia. A number of reps from investment banks, consultants, and transport planners attended the session.
In the evening, we had dinner at Khan’s. Food was excellent as usual. After the heavy dinner, I decided to walk back to the hotel.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
I had breakfast at the The Terrace Grill restaurant at the hotel. It has a nice view of Piccadilly Street.
We had a video conference call in the morning with HQ. After that, we headed to Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for a meeting. We had a good discussion with Martin Jones (Head of Railway Safety Policy).
In the afternoon, we headed to Euston Station for our train to Northampton. I was surprised to see the Northampton station. It had an interesting glass-like modern design.
From there, we took a cab to the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR). The NTAR is a training academy specialising in railway education. The officers took us for a tour of the facility.
We get to see and even try out the facilities. I find the virtual reality (VR) training very useful. Rather than needing a physical train, the VR enables you to explore all aspects of the train (inside and out) just by sitting at the computer. Amazing.
In the evening, we had dinner at Halepi Restaurant (website), a well known Greek restaurant near Bayswater. It’s a rather small restaurant, but completely packed with customers. I have been to Bayswater numerous times and didn’t even know of this place! Excellent food. Highly recommended.
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
I woke up early and went to the gym. It’s underground so there’s no view, but it’s fully equipped.
In the morning, we went for a meeting with the CEO of National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), Neil Robertson. NSAR is the body that owns the NTAR that we visited yesterday. We had a healthy discussion on possible collaborations.
After the meeting, we made our way to the airport as our flight is later that evening. We stopped at Bicester Village as some of my colleagues wanted to get some last minute shopping. True enough for Malaysians, a trip to London is never complete without a visit to Bicester Village!
I was relieved that we were finally going back home. This has been the longest trip (almost 2 weeks) that I’ve been away from my baby girl. I miss her so much!