GlobalData research has found the biggest influencers in railways based on their performance and engagement online. Using research from GlobalData’s Influencer platform, Railway Technology has named the most influential people in railways on Twitter during Q3 2020.

Biggest influencers in railways: The top ten in Q3 2020

1. RSSB (@RSSB_rail)

The Rail Safety and Standards Board Limited (RSSB) is a non-profit organisation established and owned by many industry stakeholders in the UK. Established in April 2003, it is governed by a board of members.

The organisation focuses on developing research, analysis and standards in six key business areas including safety, healthy workforce, seamless system integration, efficiency, innovation, and sustainability. It develops short-term and long-term plans for the development of the industry as well as its members.

Twitter followers: 8,293

GlobalData influencer score: 76

2. Gareth Dennis (@GarethDennis)

Gareth Dennis is a rail consultant and engineer who specialises in railway systems. He is the senior permanent way engineer for Arcadis, a civil and engineering company. He is a regular contributor for the RAIL magazine and other technical publications.

Dennis hosts a transport podcast, Rail Natter, which features guests such as Lucy Prior, John Elledge, and Tim Dunn. He also appears on several TV channels such as BBC, Sky News and ITV to discuss railway engineering and transport policies.

Twitter followers: 9,638

GlobalData influencer score: 71

3. Alex Hynes (@AlexHynes)

Alex Hynes is a rail consultant who specialises in raising delivery standards and improving financial performance in a regulated environment. He is currently working as the managing director of Scotland’s Railway.

Prior to his current role, Hynes served as advisor and managing director of Arriva Rail North, a train operating company in Northern England. He was also the managing director of UK’s largest train franchise, Northern Rail, where he improved rail services and capacity.

Twitter followers: 7,470

GlobalData influencer score: 65

4. Alex Burrows (@alexcburrows)

Alex Burrows is a transport and mobility expert who specialises in strategy, policy, research and development, technology, stakeholder engagement, and innovation. He currently serves as managing director at Rail Alliance, a transportation and trucking company.

Prior to joining Rail Alliance, Alex was associated with transportation companies such as TSio Protocol and Alstom. He also lobbied for the wine and spirit trade and worked pro bono for Cruse Bereavement Care, a national charity.

Twitter followers: 3,769

GlobalData influencer score: 64

5. Unife The Rail Ind (@UNIFE)

Unife is an association of the European rail supply industry representing more than 100 small, medium and large companies such as train builders and equipment suppliers in the region. The members of the association deal with various aspects of the industry including design, manufacture and maintenance.

The association brings together various national associations from 11 European countries. It promotes policies that shape European rail system, ensures rail supply, innovation, and research, and enhances members’ knowledge and information needs.

Twitter followers: 4,605

GlobalData influencer score: 59

6. Roger Ford (@Captain_Deltic)

Roger Ford is a rail consultant and journalist who specialises in rail transport. He is the founding editor of Rail Business Intelligence, a fortnightly subscription for the UK’s rail industry.

Ford also serves as an industry expert and technology editor of Modern Railways, a trade and technical magazine, where he contributes to the Informed Sources column that covers rail policies, issues, and railway technical.

Twitter followers: 7,755

GlobalData influencer score: 56

7. RIA (@railindustry)

Railway Industry Association (RIA) is an association that represents UK-based railway equipment and services suppliers. The 300 member-association comprises of both large and small firms including manufacturers, contractors, specialist providers, consultants, and maintainers within the industry.

RIA allows members to network with each other, support and improve supply chain initiatives and promotional activities. It is part of the Rail Innovation Family, one of the biggest representative organisations in the UK rail industry.

Twitter followers: 6,820

GlobalData influencer score: 55

8. Nigel Harris (@RAIL)

Nigel Harris is a rail expert with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and publishing. He currently serves as the chairman of the Great Central Railway Development. He is also the managing editor and events director of Bauer Media, a London-based media production company.

Harris specialises in media and journalism, rail industry, and conference and events. He is also a railway broadcaster on TV and radio and contributes to The Times occasionally.

Twitter followers: 24,095

GlobalData influencer score: 53

9. Noel Dolphin (@NoelDolphin)

Noel Dolphin is a public transport advocate who specialises in construction, engineering, and public transport. He currently serves as the head of UK projects at Furrer+Frey AG, a transportation company. He has been involved in more than 20 infrastructure projects.

Dolphin previously managed work on the electrification renewals project for Network Rail and worked as a design interface manager. He was also the minor works portfolio manager at London Underground, a rapid transit system.

Twitter followers: 2,112

GlobalData influencer score: 50

10. David Horne (@DavidHorne)

David Horne is a rail consultant currently serving as managing director at the London North Eastern Railway, a train operating company. He is also the non-executive director of the Rail Safety and Standards Board Limited, and Make It York, a marketing and advertising company.

Prior to this, he was the managing director of Virgin Trains East Coast and the managing director of East Midlands Trains.

Twitter followers: 9,678

GlobalData influencer score: 47


GlobalData’s influencer identification framework identifies influencers based on relevance; size of network, connections and followers; engagement levels with their content and analysis and input from sector experts. Influencers are then evaluated on a series of specific topic-related keywords used over the period and weighted by engagement metrics.