By Phil Marsh

Railway preservation Oscar nominations announced

Published: 12th December 2016

Who is up for recognition at the Heritage Railway Association gala night?

The Heritage Railway Association (HRA) will present its 2016 Awards at a gala night ceremony on February 11 at Grand Central in Wolverhampton. The guest speaker will be Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail.

The HRA represents the interests of the majority of heritage and tourist railways, tramways and railway preservation groups within the UK and Ireland. It has over 250 corporate members encompassing heritage and tourist railways, tramways, railway museums, steam centres, rail cableways, cliff lifts and small locomotive and rolling stock preservation groups. Groups and individuals involved with the preservation of stations and other railway buildings are also included in its diverse membership, as well as several overseas members

The HRA awards are regarded as amongst the most prestigious forms of recognition. So, who will be stepping forward to the stage in Wolverhampton?

The final winners are yet to be announced, but the HRA has released its list of nominees, giving an indication of the organisations recognised as being at the top of their game during 2016.

Large Groups

Shortlisted for the HRA Annual Award for Large Groups are the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group, for providing the defining backbone of North Eastern steam preservation over the last 50 years, and the North Norfolk Railway for extending steam services over the main line to Cromer and extending the boundaries of rail preservation.

Small Groups

Nominees for the HRA’s Small Groups award include the Bredgar and Wormshill Railway for their collection of working railway artefacts; the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway for completion of two booking halls; the Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway for provision of a public transport connection to their village during a road closure, and the Headhunters Barber Shop and Museum, for bringing aspects of the railways of Enniskillen, Ireland to a working barber shop.

John Coiley Award

Nominees include The Darlington Railway Preservation Society, for restoration of their BR Standard 2MT No. 78018; the 76084 Locomotive Company, for restoration of their BR Standard 4 No. 76084; the Somerset and Dorset Railway for restoration of former Croydon Gas Works Sentinel 4wVBTG 7109/1927, and the Scarborough North Bay Railway, for construction of new-build Bagnall ‘Sipat’ design 0-4-0ST Georgina.

HRA Special Awards

For the HRA’s Special Awards for a Meritorious Project, nominees include the Gresley Society, for their recognition of Sir Nigel Gresley, designer of Flying Scotsman and Mallard; the National Railway Museum, for their 2016 presentation of Flying Scotsman; Vintage Trains Tyseley, for construction of their new locomotive workshop, and the St. Albans Signal Box Preservation Trust, for their activation of a pair of 1970s indicators.

Media award winners announced

While the HRA award winners will not be announced until the ceremony, other awards to be presented at the celebration have been released.

The Mortons Media Heritage Railway Interpretation Award has been won by the South Devon Railway.

The Railway Magazine Annual Award for Service to Railway Preservation goes to Tom Tighe, Great Central Railway’s Locomotive Engineering Manager.

The Mortons Media Rail Express Modern Traction Award has been won by the Severn Valley Railway.

The Steam Railway Magazine Award is shared between the Somerset and Dorset Railway Preservation Trust and the West Somerset Railway’s Special Event Planning Team.

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