SIR ROBERT HORTON, former chairman of Railtrack this week announced his hand-picked judging panel to decide this year's National Rail Awards.
The 15-strong team covers a wide range of expertise from across the industry and beyond, and includes representatives from civil, mechanical and electrical engineering institutions, railway operators, logistics experts, academics and the media.
The task of whittling the nation's rail and rail personality achievements to award 13 prize categories will be tough for Horton's team and starts immediately after the closing date for entries on 1 May.
The NRA 2000 awards are backed by NCE parent publisher Emap and co-hosted by NCE and sister magazine Rail. The first of their kind, the awards intend to reward the hard yet often unrecognised work carried out to keep the trains and passengers moving safely in the UK.
Winners will be announced at a gala presentation dinner on 7 September at the Hilton Hotel in London.
Entry packs are now available from Clive Nicholls, awards director, National Rail Awards 2000, Apex House, Oundle Road, Peterborough, PE2 9NP
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Judges Mike Casebourne, ICE chief executive
Tony Roche, IMechE deputy president
Dr Alf Roberts, IEE chief executive
Gordon Pettit, former deputy managing director of BR Southern Region
John Ellis, former managing director of BR Intercity
Patricia Steel OBE, former chairman of the Docklands Light Railway
Tim Thirlwall, chief executive Mott MacDonald
Tony Ridley CBE, research fellow Imperial College London
Ed Burkhardt, chairman and CEO of Railworld
Nick Gallop, manager - Logistics Consulting, Sinclair Knight Merz
Suzanne May, chair of Transport 2000
Irving Yass, director of policy and transport, London First
Stanley Hall, railway safety and accident investigation consultant
Simon Montague, BBC transport correspondent
Best rail route
Best light rail/metro operator
Innovation of the year
Best maintenance operator
Major project of the year
Project of the year
Most significant contribution to safety
Best customer experience
Integrated transport award
Achievement of the year