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Last chance to enter and win

IT IS your last chance to enter this year's National Rail Awards, the industry's biggest and most comprehensive recognition scheme.

Closing date for entries is next week - 1 May. Winners will be revealed at a gala dinner at the London Hilton in Park Lane on 6 September - now established as the highlight of the rail industry calendar.

In what has been a difficult year for the industry, many people from engineers to ticket inspectors have worked tirelessly to regain the nation's confidence. The awards are an opportunity to reward these people, and a chance for the entire industry to take pride in the improvements that have been made.

The judging panel, chaired by former Railtrack executive chairman Sir Robert Horton, is awaiting your entries.

Table booking forms for the gala awards dinner are also available, to give you the opportunity to celebrate with your industry partners.

Two of the most popular National Rail Award categories for civil engineers have proved to be major project and best maintenance operator.

Major Project of the Year For civil engineering projects with a total cost exceeding £5M. The scheme should be completed within the judging year (May 1 2000 to April 30 2001).

Entered by the principal contractor/principal designer (or by either party if the other doesn't wish to participate), the entry should be supported by the client.

This should outline the project and any conditions and circumstances that were peculiar to the project.

Judges will need to know how the project benefits railway operations, its performance against schedules, and how much disruption it caused to existing railway services.

They will also examine whether all parties worked as a team and will take into account the views of the client, railway operators and railway users. Judges will visit the shortlisted sites to speak directly to the entrants.

Best Maintenance Operator Open to large and small companies with size giving no advantage. This award is all about quality of service, initiative and innovation.

Entries will come from the maintenance company giving details of exceptional performance over the last 12 months, together with supporting evidence from customers.

Judges will examine whether the entrant has met schedules, its new and innovative ways of working, and decide whether it is measurably better than the rest.

This will probably mean showing how the customer's business was improved and whether expectations were exceeded.

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