UK: Companies and organisations across the UK rail sector continue to deliver excellence in performance, quality and innovation, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic,

To recognise their efforts, no fewer than 40 organisations have been shortlisted for the 23rd Rail Business Awards, with finalists for 14 of the 16 categories published on November 19; the awards for Industry Leader and Rail Business of the Year will be revealed when the final winners are announced in February 2021.

Once again, the independent judging panel was faced with a major challenge to identify the best of the best. There was strong competition for many of the awards, which range from operations and customer service through technical innovation and engineering to marketing, diversity and sustainability. Individual contributions are also recognised, with awards for Young Professional, Industry Leader and the Richard Hope Award for an Outstanding Personal Contribution.

Network Rail leads the pack, with six shortlisted entries this year, slightly ahead of Southern Railway with five and Balfour Beatty with four.

Other train operators showing strongly include ScotRail, Greater Anglia, LNER and South Western Railway, as well as Thameslink and Great Western Railway. Rail freight operators are well represented, with DB Cargo, Direct Rail Services, Freightliner and GB Railfreight all on the shortlist, along with iPort Rail and Maritime Transport.

Full details of the shortlist can be found at https://www.railbusinessawards.com/live/en/page/2021-shortlist.

The winners will be revealed on the Rail Business UK website between February 22 and February 25 2021, with each day focusing on a different selection of categories. The People awards will be announced on February 22, Products & Engineering on February 23, Operations on February 24 and the ultimate accolade of Rail Business of the Year on February 25.