National Rail Awards 2000 - which is on track to become the rail industry's 'Oscars' style hallmark of achievement - is being sponsored by Angel Trains.
The leading UK financier of new passenger stock and freight locomotives, Angel Trains is the sole sponsor of the prestigious NRA2000 venture.
This is being staged jointly by RAIL and New Civil Engineer, the industry's two market-leading specialist magazines published by Emap, to celebrate more widely excellence and achievement in an exciting and successful industry which has had more than its share of knocks.
Angel Trains, one of Britain's three rolling stock leasing companies (ROSCOs) formed when Britain's rail fleets were privatised in 1994, was quick to see that NRA2000 is a powerful platform for its corporate relaunch and rebranding.
Formerly known as Angel Train Contracts, the company will now be more clearly and simply known as Angel Trains. A new logo - unveiled here for the first time - has been designed not only to reinforce the new look but also pave the way for a higher industrial profile and greater public awareness.
Angel Trains managing director Haydn Abbot said: 'Everyone at Angel Trains is delighted to be involved on an exclusive basis with National Rail Awards 2000.
We are in complete agreement with our friends at RAIL and New Civil Engineer that the rail industry needs to shout about its successes.
'The qualities and achievement which the awards will salute are the qualities which underpin our own ideals. Angel Trains is committed to the continual improvement of services to help its customers by creating a world class, cost-effective and safe rail service. We have a powerful engineering base and solid financial strength, with the support of our parent, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.'
NRA2000 awards director Clive Nicholls welcomed Angel Trains' involvement, noting how the company immediately spotted that NRA2000 was the perfect stage on which to launch a higher profile for Angel Trains.
He commented that 'this unseen iceberg of commitment and hard work will finally break surface in public at the gala presentation dinner at the London Hilton Hotel, on Thursday, 7 September, which will be a high quality event.'
Angel Trains' sales and marketing director Peter Rigby commented: 'The alliance of Angel Trains with RAIL and New Civil Engineer is not only powerful but it will also be very effective.
There has been too much talk of fragmentation - the prestigious NRA2000 will bring the industry together by celebrating its achievements, with endorsement from leading industry figures and the industry's two market leading publications. We are extremely pleased to be associated with what promises to be the definitive rail industry event of the year.'
Angel Trains: Facts and figures
Bought by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in December 1997.
Owns 35% of Britain's trains, 3,600 vehicles: 535 high speed trains (IC125s) 2,030 electric multiple units 1,035 diesel multiple units 19 train operating companies are customers
Has invested £1.3 bn in new trains over the past two years.
Angel Trains is the leading UK financier of new passenger trains and freight locomotives. Privatised in 1994, it was one of three ROSCO's formed to own the former BR fleet. Angel Trains provides flexible operating leases to train operators where the leases are generally independent of franchise length.
Since privatisation, the three ROSCOs have invested a total of £2.4bn in new trains, with Angel Trains' share being £1.3bn. In comparison, in the five years before privatisation, British Rail invested just £900m in passenger rolling stock. Angel Train's fleet is now more than 3,600 vehicles in Britain. The company has pioneered innovative methods of train financing, including the largest ever rail bond issue to fund Virgin Trains' West Coast Main Line fleet of tilting Pendolino trains being built jointly by Fiat in Italy and Alstom in Birmingham.
Angel Trains believes that demand for new passenger trains in the next decade could exceed £10bn, to meet a projected 50% increase in passengers, and some operators believe that passenger figure might actually be even higher.
Angel Trains is determined to be a major player in the growing market for new trains, not only in Britain, but also internationally.