16th Rail Business Awards



The Hilton, Park Lane was the superb venue for last night’s 16th Rail Business Awards …


Around 800 of the ‘Great & the Good’ from the UK Rail Industry gathered to celebrate some specific achievements as well as pay tribute to the hard work that goes on day in, day out – and in particular to acknowledge the huge efforts of everyone involved in coping with the impact on our railways during the recent extreme weather.

It was great to see three new Award categories bringing a keener focus on the next generation of Rail employees, with Rail Engineer of the Future, Women in Rail and Diversity & Inclusion alongside the established awards for Young Professional and Rail Business Manager. It seems that the industry is waking up to the reality of the UK demographic.

Over the next ten years, a lot of experienced people are set to retire, so Rail really has to work harder and more creatively at attracting and retaining their successors.

The evening was very well stage managed by the Events team at Woodhouse Communications, and the staff at the Hilton, Park Lane looked after us all extremely well in a great venue.


However the highlight of the ‘hosting’ absolutely has to be Gyles Brandreth who was superbly irreverent, and although at times, I did question whether he was actually allowed to say ‘that’, he was very naughtily amusing!


A huge congratulations must go out to all the category nominees, and of course to the Winners … Northern Rail managed a hat trick of 3 Awards on the night, one of which was for the Women in Rail work which has been successful in engaging with female candidates in the North as well as developing its existing female workforce.  A special mention also to Megan Bowne, Fleet Planning Engineer for Southeastern who won the coveted Rail Engineer of the Future award, and to Scotrail for taking the Train Operator of the Year trophy … Well done!

Brandreth’s closing remarks summed up the evening – and the sector – absolutely perfectly for me … “I thought tonight was about trains.  It’s actually all about people”. I couldn’t agree more.