National Rail Awards 2020 Winners

RAIL’s first ever virtual National Rail Awards ceremony took place yesterday (September 17).

The event was originally due to have been staged as usual at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, but was moved to a virtual platform as a result of the uncertainty and restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, just as in a normal year, awards were to be presented across 13 categories - only this year in front of a virtual audience (see panel below).

Alongside the usual Outstanding Personal Contribution awards for frontline, management and senior management staff, this year two Lifetime Achievement accolades were presented to individuals in recognition of “their impact and long-standing roles on the railway”.

Chris Hopcroft, who retired from his role as Train Manager at GB Railfreight in December 2019 after a 60-year career on the railways, had worked his way up from starting as a telephonist recording train movements for British Rail in 1959.

And Barbados-born 80-year-old Siggy Cragwell still despatches trains at Elstree & Borehamwood for Govia Thameslink Railway, having started his railway career in 1962 at Marylebone station, just a day after landing at Southampton to start his new life in England.

This year’s blue riband trophy for Passenger Operator of the Year went to KeolisAmey Docklands for another year of record-breaking performance (see RAIL 915).

Another hotly contested category is Great Place to Work, which has been awarded to GB Railfreight, having received highly commended status in this category in 2019.

And the NRA judges could not separate the achievements of two finalists in the Outstanding Teamwork Award category, so two winners were chosen: Great Western Railway and Network Rail for their efforts to celebrate International Women’s Day earlier this year; and GWR, NR, MTR Elizabeth Line and CrossCountry for their ‘Big Plan. Big Change. Big Team’ entry focusing on the successful implementation of the biggest timetable change on the Great Western Railway since 1976.

  • Full details of the winners and highly commended entries can be found in RAIL 914, on sale digitally tomorrow (September 19) and in print on September 23.
  • If you missed the virtual ceremony and would like to watch it on catch-up, it is available at

National Rail Awards 2020 – Roll of Honour

Freight & Logistics Achievement of the Year

Winner: iPort Rail - Year-on-year success

Highly Commended: GB Railfreight - Growth in intermodal  and 2019 performance

Highly Commended: DC Rail & VTG Rail - Collaboration to switch used ballast from road to rail

Customer Service Excellence

Winner: GWR and ADi Access - Railway's First RoomMate

Highly Commended: South Western Railway - Assisted Boarding points: Transforming Accessible Travel

Highly Commended: Great Western Railway - Platform Zoning

Sustainable Business Award

Winner: Eminox, Porterbrook & South Western Railway - Helping passengers to breathe more easily by cleaning up diesel trains

Highly Commended: Merseyrail - Sustainability as a key priority

Highly Commended: Amey - The Midland Main Line upgrade

Great Place to Work

Winner: GB Railfreight

Highly Commended: Southeastern

Infrastructure Achievement of the Year

Winner: Amey Rail - Market Harborough Line Speed and Station Improvement

Highly Commended: MPT - Manchester Metrolink Trafford Park Extension

Highly Commended: Network Rail and partners - Cardiff Intersection Bridge

Fleet Excellence Award

Winner: Hitachi Rail & ScotRail - Class 385: The UK's most reliable new train

Highly Commended: Govia Thameslink Railway - Fleet Introduction and Cascade Programme

Highly Commended: South Western Railway - Overcoming the odds on the Island Line

Innovation of the Year

Winner: Atkins - Atkins Signalling Method

Highly Commended: Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway & Siemens - Automatic Train Operation has arrived in London

Highly Commended: Greater Anglia & Stadler - New low-floor bi-mode train with retractable step

Safety Achievement of the Year

Winner: Motion Rail - Motion Reality

Highly Commended: South Western Railway & Network Rail - Trespass and Welfare Officers: Helping the vulnerable for a safer railway

Highly Commended: MPT – Delivering health, safety and wellbeing differently on the Manchester Metrolink Trafford Park Line project

Outstanding Teamwork Award

Winner: Great Western Railway & Network Rail - The Railway Family Celebrates International Women's Day

Winner: Network Rail, Great Western Railway, MTR Elizabeth Line & CrossCountry - Big Plan. Big Change. Big Team.

Highly Commended: SYSTRA Ltd, Network Rail & Colt Construction - New roof over Leeds City station concourse

Station of the Year

Small Winner: Transport for Wales - Chirk

Highly Commended: Great Northern - Downham Market

Highly Commended: Northern - Hindley

Medium Winner: Avanti West Coast - Penrith

Highly Commended: Northern - Worksop    Highly Commended: Merseyrail - Ainsdale

LARGE Winner: Greater Anglia - Norwich

Highly Commended: Network Rail - Stratford International

Highly Commended: LNER - Durham

MAJOR Winner: Network Rail - Reading

Highly Commended: Network Rail - London King’s Cross

Highly Commended: Network Rail - Glasgow Central

Passenger Operator of the Year

Winner: KeolisAmey Docklands

Highly Commended: Merseyrail           Highly Commended: Southern Railway

Outstanding Personal Contribution

Winner (Frontline): Najla Almutairi, Station Assistant, Southern Railway

Highly Commended: Darryl Peters, Finance Assistant, Siemens

Winner (Management): Katrina Treacy, Customer & Community Engagement Officer, MTR Elizabeth line

Highly Commended: Susan Fishwick, Training Lead for the ‘Get Into’ Programme, South Western Railway

Winner (Senior Management): Mike Brown MVO, Former Commissioner of Transport for London

Lifetime Achievement Award

WINNER: Chris Hopcroft, Former Train Manager, GB Railfreight

WINNERU: Siggy Cragwell, Platform Supervisor, Elstree & Borehamwood, Govia Thameslink Railway

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