National Rail Awards 2021 opens for entries

Entries are now open for the 2021 National Rail Awards judging season.

RAIL’s annual National Rail Awards are known for their commitment to rewarding excellence across every aspect of the railway - from contributions made by those on the front line, to astounding achievements on the industry’s biggest projects.

This year’s awards will recognise the efforts of the industry and the railway family during one of the toughest periods in its history, covering submissions relating to the year ending March 31 2021.

This year’s ‘Railway Oscars’ ceremony is due to take place on September 16 at London’s prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. Further details of the ceremony will be provided in line with Government guidelines with regard to the viability and safety of the event and the changing situation around COVID-19. 

Across all the NRA categories (see panel), the judges are looking to reward initiatives that demonstrate innovation and measurable improvements in performance that could be rolled out across the railway. By doing so, the NRA is able to promote the industry’s long-term success and sustainability. 

Judging is rigorous and the NRA has a long-standing reputation for its forensic due diligence process.

Entries are shortlisted on the basis of written submissions that must be made by March 22. In most categories, this is then followed by an interview and presentation process in the spring (dates to be announced).

There will be no changes to the categories for this year’s awards, but three judges are stepping down from the NRA judging panel in 2021: Chris Bolt (former Chairman of the Office of Rail Regulation 2004-09) has served as an NRA judge for seven years, having joined the panel in 2013; British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther joined the panel in 2014 and is stepping down as he is also retiring from the BTP; and Katherine Howatson, one of the Young Rail Professional judges on the panel, is leaving after three years working alongside the NRA judges.

NRA 2021 categories

  • Station of the Year: Small, Medium, Large, Major.
  • Freight & Logistics Achievement of the Year.
  • Infrastructure Achievement of the Year.
  • Passenger Operator of the Year.
  • Outstanding Personal Contribution.
  • Innovation of the Year.
  • Safety Achievement of the Year.
  • Customer Service Excellence.
  • Major Project of the Year.
  • Fleet Excellence Award.
  • Outstanding Teamwork Award.
  • Sustainable Business Award.
  • Great Place to Work.


  • For more information on how to enter, full criteria and judging information, or to find out more about plans for the awards evening in September, please visit

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  • christine davies - 30/01/2021 14:37

    My dad has today retired from the railway after 46 years of service, he started in1974 for British rail and has continued his journey through various railway companies with his retirement from Balfour Beatty rail today, are there any awards that he can be nominated for? he has received lots and lots of lovely emails from colleagues past and present and

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