The Watford Conference



The aim of the Watford Conference is to encourage the interchange of ideas across national boundaries and to develop and maintain the highest standards of coordinated design for railway-associated schemes.


The annual gathering is a forum of about 80 professionals where the different representatives of each country can present the current developments in their works and show future projects for professional colleagues in an informal atmosphere. Intense discussions between and after the presentations allow further exploration and the exchange of ideas and experience. Contacts created at the Watford Conference facilitate continuous exchange of these ideas between members outside the annual meeting.


Excursions to recent projects as part of the conference schedule have the unrivalled benefit of hands-on experience combined with the possibility of discussing concepts with the responsible designers. Since the Watford became a travelling conference in 1989 it takes place in different countries, changing from year to year.


The conference is normally held over 3-4 days including the weekend. It is divided in two parts, one based on a fixed theme of actual and common interest and one for free presentations within the framework of station design, civil engineering within the railway, rolling stock, graphic design and management of the architectural and design process.


Watford Conference 2014 (12)

Watford Conference 2014 (5,5)


Examples of themes:

  • 2017 – Transport systems and their consistancy in larger urban areas
  • 2015 – Stations as turntables for mobility
  • 2014 – Transformation
  • 2013 – The value of design
  • 2012 – Renewable energie in station and Network
  • 2010 – Cooperation / Competition
  • 2009 – Capacity
  • 2008 – The future design for mobility and customer orientation
  • 2007 – integration of railway design in (urban) landscape
  • 2006 – Improvement of Technology: How has an improvement on technology changed railway design and architecture?
  • 2005 – What is the “state of the art”? – aspects of excellence in railway design
  • 2004 – managing the process to quality
  • 2003 – branding vs. orientation
  • 2002 – the interaction between old and new
  • 2001 – reference projects, handbooks, guidelines, databases etc.
  • 2000 – one passenger – one station – trains belonging to many companies
  • 1999 – visual communication between the railway and society
  • 1997 – station areas development
  • 1996 – genius loci
  • 1995 – design of civil engineering works
  • 1994 – accessability