Important Information

When you enter you will be required to register. Upon doing so you will receive an email, please click the link to confirm.
You will then be able to complete your entry. All entries to the awards are free of charge.
Return at any point using your login credentials to manage your account and modify your entry until the closing date.
To enter the awards please complete an entry form on the website filling out all relevant fields and uploading your PDF submission for each category.
PDF submissions should be a maximum of 2500 words, fulfilling the category criteria . Entries that do not comply will be marked down or rejected.
Read carefully the description of the category you wish to enter, to ensure you are eligible.

PEOPLE AWARDS

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.

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.

Lifetime Achievement Award

To recognise the achievements of an employee or manager from the UK rail sector, whether front-line or behind the scenes, in managerial, commercial, operational or engineering roles.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for a person who:

  • Has made an outstanding personal contribution to the rail industry;
  • Has always maintained high standards and contributed to the success of their business;
  • Has provided inspiration and encouragement to those around them;
  • Has supported the delivery of high quality services for the end customer and rail users;
  • Has consistently worked ‘above and beyond’ for the benefit of the whole rail sector.
Sponsored by:

Rail Team of the Year

For the most outstanding team working within the UK rail industry. 

Eligibility: This award is for any team providing functions relating to rail business management, development or service delivery, whether customer-facing or behind the scenes.

Criteria: The judges will be looking for a team that: 

  • Makes an outstanding contribution to the rail industry
  • Consistently works ‘above and beyond’ to improve their business area;
  • Demonstrates evidence of initiative or the ability to overcome significant challenges; 
  • Maintains high standards and ensures good working relations between team members;
  • Encourages and supports their colleagues to improve
  • Makes a positive impact on the business performance of their company or organisation.

Women in Rail

For the most outstanding woman working within the UK rail industry.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for a woman 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;
  • Commitment to improving gender balance by actively supporting the employment and career development of women in rail.
Sponsored by:

Young Professional of the Year

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

Eligibility: A professional under the age of 35 as at 31/12/18 (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.
Sponsored by:

PRODUCT & ENGINEERING AWARDS

Asset Management & Maintenance Excellence

For excellence in the management and maintenance of rolling stock or infrastructure assets across the UK rail sector.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • The deployment of smart asset management systems;
  • Efforts to optimise the efficiency of maintenance regimes and minimise the impact of maintenance on the operational railway;
  • Value engineering and innovative thinking to improve cost-effectiveness and ensure the best return on investment;
  • Attention to the trade-offs between maintenance and renewals and the opportunities for minor enhancements;
  • A reduction in the level of unplanned maintenance and rectification of failures in service;
  • Adherence to budget and timescales.

Digital Technology Excellence

For the company making best use of digital technologies to help improve efficiency and/or service quality within the UK rail sector.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • An ability to identify and deploy the appropriate digital technologies to address specific rail applications, including the use of software as a service where appropriate;
  • A strong business strategy with clear objectives, implementation and adherence to budget;
  • Involvement of all parts of the business in the digital strategy;
  • A positive impact on the business from the use of digital technology or e-commerce, in terms of financial return, improved performance, customer focus or quality of service;
  • Proven analysis and evaluation of results.

Infrastructure Project Excellence

For the most successful infrastructure enhancement or station development project.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

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

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.


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 service levels;
  • Increases in traffic volumes;
  • Reduced operating costs or improved performance.
Sponsored by:

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.

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.
Sponsored by:

Sustainability & Environmental Excellence

For the introduction or development of the most successful environmental innovation within the UK rail industry.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of: 

  • A commitment to reducing the environmental impact of rail services or projects through technical innovation or changes in operating processes;
  • The impact that sustainability is having on operational effectiveness and on commercial and financial performance;
  • Evidence of environmental improvements in specific areas within the business;
  • Introduction of environmental, social and financial policies that support sustainability;
  • Involvement of both senior management and staff in the introduction and on-going maintenance of sustainable initiatives;
  • Evidence that sustainability performance is built in to the whole business planning process.

Technical Innovation Excellence

For the development of innovative technology, products, systems or services within the rail industry.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • An effective environment to encourage innovation within the company;
  • The development process from concept to use;
  • 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.
Sponsored by:

OPERATION AWARDS

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 the UK rail network and other modes of transport.

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 passengers. 

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.

Criteria:
Entries should detail the investment made and the measures implemented to enhance the quality of customer service, and should be supported by examples of excellence and positive customer reaction 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.
Sponsored by:

Marketing & Communications Excellence

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

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 and as an employer
  • The quality and use of techniques employed, including the versatility and effective use of various media (both external and internal as appropriate). 
  • Communication 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.
  • Return on investment, demonstrating value for money.
Sponsored by:

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.

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.
Sponsored by:

Safety & Security Excellence

For the introduction of the most successful railway safety and/or security improvements.

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of safety and/or security improvements through: 

  • The introduction or deployment of new technology, products or systems, innovative application of existing products and services, or the application to the rail sector of technology, products or systems from other industries;
  • Improved systems of work or work environments, including training;
  • Improved company safety performance such as falling accident rates;
  • Benefits to staff, passengers, customers or neighbours;
  • Business benefits.

Train Operator of the Year

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

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

  • Customer service and communication;
  • Growth in ridership, market share and/or revenue;
  • Investment in the development and introduction of new services and products;
  • Improvements in performance and delay management, including passenger information during disruption;
  • Integration with other transport modes.

LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Industry Leader of the Year

For the most outstanding industry leader within the UK rail sector. Nominations should include a brief explanation which may incorporate some or all of the following:

  • Demonstrating a level of industry statemanship and guardianship;
  • Identifying and addressing key business and industry issues;
  • Clear leadership within their organisation and public engagement;
  • A leader who has contributed to the growth of market share or development of new business for their organisation.

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.

This category is now closed