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When you enter you will be required to register. Upon doing so, you will receive an email - please click the Activate link in the email to confirm the set.

You will then be able to complete your entry. Return at any point using your login credentials to manage your account and modify your entry until to closing date.

To enter the awards please:

  • Complete an entry form on the website, filling out all the relevant fields and uploading your PDF submission and any relevant supporting materials.
  • Read the description and criteria of the category you wish to enter carefully – entries that do not comply might be marked down or rejected.
  • You may enter as many categories as you wish, although make sure your entries are relevant to each category's criteria.
  • The deadline for entries is 11 September 2020
  • Entries are charged at £95 + VAT per entry, per category. Entrants details will be added to our entrant's directory where our website visitors can find out more about them. The directory will be available online once entries have closed. 


Industry Leader of the Year

For the most outstanding industry leader within the UK rail sector.

This award is by nomination from the judging panel, although recommendations are invited.

Nominations should include a brief explanation of how the nominee:

  • demonstrates a level of industry statemanship and guardianship;
  • identifies and addresses key business and industry issues;
  • is able to react rapidly to changing circumstances and business objectives;
  • demonstrates clear leadership within their organisation and public engagement;
  • has contributed to the growth of market share or the development of their organisation. 

Richard Hope Award

To recognise an Outstanding Personal Contribution from anyone employed in the UK rail sector, whether over many years or on a noteworthy occasion. This award is by nomination from the judging panel, although recommendations are invited. 

Nominations should include a brief explanation of how the nominee:

  • has made an outstanding personal contribution to the rail industry;
  • has maintained high standards and contributed to the success of their organisation;
  • has provided inspiration and encouragement to those around them;
  • has supported the delivery of high quality services for end customers and rail users;

Diversity in Rail Award

To recognise efforts to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion within the UK rail industry.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for an individual who has demonstrated:

  • commitment to improving gender balance by actively encouraging and supporting the employment and career development of women in rail;
  • positive action to encourage applications from under-represented groups;
  • strong personal or corporate commitment to inclusive working practices;
  • the value of encouraging a diverse and inclusive workforce;
  • initiatives that have delivered positive results in terms of equality, staff engagement, recruitment and retention. 

Education & Training Excellence

For any company or organisation providing education or training services for the UK rail industry or putting training and development at the heart of their business.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for:

  • A positive commitment to the education or training of railway employees
  • Leadership in the provision or delivery of apprenticeship or graduate schemes
  • Evidence of career development programmes that support business objectives
  • Evidence that trainees have gained the skills needed to maximise their business contribution
  • Proof of how investment in education and training has brought business success
  • Evidence that investment in education and training has created a committed, motivated and effective workforce.

Young Professional of the Year

For the most outstanding young professional working within the UK rail industry.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Eligibility: A professional under the age of 35 as at 31/12/20 (DOB to be stated on entry). This award is for excellence in any of the functions relating to the management of a rail business.

Criteria: The judges will be looking for a person with a proven ability to achieve at a level beyond that normally expected from professionals of this age and experience, who displays:

  • passion and drive for working within the rail industry;
  • leadership and direction at any level within their company;
  • dedication to the development of their company’s business;
  • evidence of initiative and going the extra mile;
  • exceptional progression or potential in their career;
  • an outstanding personal contribution to the rail industry.


Infrastructure Project Excellence

For the most successful infrastructure enhancement or station development project.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Benefits to customers and/or other stakeholders including enhanced facilities, better information systems and improved quality of service
  • Business benefits such as new revenue opportunities, improved capacity, better performance and reduced operating costs
  • The introduction of innovative materials, techniques or systems from outside the UK rail sector to enhance project performance and deliverability
  • Effective co-operation between all stakeholders
  • Efficient planning of the work to maximise overall benefits and minimise any impact on the operational railway
  • Effective delivery of works on time and within budget.

Rolling Stock Excellence

For the most successful innovation in passenger or freight rolling stock for the UK rail sector, whether new build, modernisation or re-engineering.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for:

Benefits to passengers including:

  • New or improved on-train facilities, including accessibility, safety and security, toilets, seating or passenger entertainment
  • Facilitating the operation of new or enhanced passenger services

Benefits to freight customers including:

  • Innovative use of technology to provide cost-effective solutions, maximise payload or facilitate new freight traffic by rail 

Evidence of business benefits including:

  • Improved availability and service levels
  • Increases in traffic volumes
  • Reduced operating costs or improved performance.

Supplier & Contractor Excellence

For any company demonstrating excellence within the UK rail supply chain, providing products or services to any part of the UK rail sector.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of one or more of the following:

  • The provision of high-quality services and/or products to the rail sector
  • A positive impact on the rail industry resulting from the company’s products or services
  • Innovation in product or service delivery to improve efficiency or quality of service
  • Positive benefits from collaborative, alliancing or partnership working
  • A reduction in the cost of rail operations to ensure better value for money
  • Improved business performance and/or cost management from process improvements.

Sustainability & Environmental Excellence

For the most successful environmental innovation within the UK rail industry.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • a commitment to improving the environmental impact of rail services or projects through technical innovation or changes in operating processes;
  • environmental or sustainability improvements in specific areas within the business;
  • the impact that sustainability is having on operational effectiveness and/or commercial and financial performance;
  • introduction of environmental, social and financial policies that support sustainability;
  • involvement of both senior management and staff in the introduction and ongoing delivery of sustainable initiatives. 

Technical Innovation of the Year

For the development of innovative technology, products, systems or services within the UK rail sector, including the development and application of digital technologies.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • an effective environment to encourage innovation within the company;
  • the development process from concept to practical application;
  • a strong business strategy with clear objectives, implementation and adherence to budget;
  • how candidates made the economic case for investment in the technology;
  • the criteria used to ascertain whether the organisation had the capability to develop and exploit the technology, and what steps were taken to develop that capability;
  • how the innovation has made a difference to the business and/or its customers’ businesses. 


Accessibility & Integrated Transport Excellence

For excellence in the provision of accessible facilities and services for rail users, both on trains, stations and journey planning, or for improving integration between rail and other modes.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • overall benefits for passengers with reduced mobility;
  • enhanced station facilities including waiting rooms, step-free access and level boarding;
  • the provision of accessible customer information and assistance;
  • accessibility improvements to rolling stock, including toilets, wheelchair spaces, information systems and on-board customer assistance;
  • enhanced integration with other modes of transport
  • benefits to the train or station operator resulting from improved accessibility and integration, including increased customer numbers, efficiency improvements and revenue.

Customer Service Excellence

For excellence in the provision of services to rail users.

Eligibility: This category is open to any organisation involved in the delivery of services to rail users, including train operators, local authorities, developers, infrastructure service suppliers and station owners or operators.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Entries should detail measures implemented to enhance the quality of customer service and their effectiveness in some or all of the following areas:

  • improvement to the overall customer experience during any or all aspects of their journey;
  • the provision of real-time information before during and after the journey, including information during disruption;
  • staff knowledge and behaviour;
  • crisis management, the dissemination of customer-critical information, support and problem resolution;
  • value added services, which offer improved customer experience but are not commonly part of a rail organisation’s business model;
  • a positive impact on overall business and financial performance. 

Marketing & Communications Excellence

For the most successful marketing campaign, PR, external or internal communications project.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of: 

  • the commercial and/or communications context in which the campaign was developed;
  • programmes that work with one or more audiences, effectively managing the profile and reputation of the organisation;
  • the techniques employed, including the versatility and effective use of various media;
  • communications effectiveness and the originality of the messages and materials;
  • the business benefits of the campaign, including enhancement to reputation and awareness, improved organisational behaviour, industrial relations and/or business performance.
  • Post-campaign evaluation and measurement against tactical/strategic objectives, including a review of message delivery and key learnings, demonstrating a return on investment.

Rail Freight & Logistics Excellence

For any business or other organisation operating within the UK’s rail freight sector including train and terminal operators, logistics companies and supply chain or forwarding agents.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • The attraction of new freight traffic to rail, resulting in modal shift, revenue improvements or business growth
  • Innovation and flexibility in meeting customer requirements, including the adaptation of services or products to improve efficiency or attract new business
  • Regular communication with customers and suppliers
  • Targeted, planned investment
  • Performance and safety improvements.

Train Operator of the Year

For the UK passenger or freight train operator demonstrating overall business excellence and providing outstanding customer service.

£ 95.00 +VAT (20%)

Criteria: Judges will look for excellence in the following areas:

  • Improving performance and delay management
  • Effective co-operation with key stakeholders, both locally and nationally
  • Customer service and communication, including the provision of customer information during disruption
  • Investment in the development and introduction of new services and products
  • Growth in ridership, market share and/or revenue.

Rail Business of the Year

Our panel of judges will select the Rail Business of the Year on the basis of the results from the other categories.