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 October 2019
  • All entries to the awards are free of charge

Asset Management & Maintenance Excellence

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

This category is now closed

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Efforts to optimise the efficiency of maintenance regimes and minimise the impact of maintenance on the operational railway
  • The deployment of smart asset management systems such as remote condition monitoring and/or predictive maintenance models
  • Value engineering and innovative thinking to improve cost-effectiveness and ensure the ‘best bang for the buck’
  • 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.

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.

This category is now closed

Criteria: Entries should detail measures implemented to enhance the quality of customer service in some or all of the following areas, and be supported by examples of positive customer reaction:

  • 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

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.

This category is now closed

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. 

Diversity in Rail Award

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

This category is now closed

Criteria: Judges will be looking for an individual or company that has demonstrated:

  • Commitment to improving gender balance by actively 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 and business benefits 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.

This category is now closed

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.

Industry Leader of the Year

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

This category is now closed

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.

Infrastructure Project Excellence

For the most successful infrastructure enhancement or station development project, including schemes to improve accessibility and/or facilitate multi-modal integration.

This category is now closed

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.

Innovation of the Year

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

This category is now closed

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

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.

This category is now closed

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.

Marketing & Communications Excellence

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

This category is now closed

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. 

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.

This category is now closed

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.

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.

This category is now closed

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.

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, including measures to improve accessibility.

This category is now closed

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.

Safety & Security Excellence

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

This category is now closed

Criteria: Judges will be looking for evidence of improvements to safety and/or security 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, customers or external stakeholders, including neighbours
  • Business benefits.

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.

This category is now closed

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

This category is now closed

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 ongoing maintenance of sustainable initiatives
  • Evidence that sustainability performance is built in to the whole business planning process.

Train Operator of the Year

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

This category is now closed

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.

Young Professional of the Year

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

This category is now closed

Eligibility: A professional under the age of 35 as at 31/12/19 (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

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.