Bluebell win top award
Credit: Bluebell Railway

The Bluebell Railway has announced that they have won two awards at the recent National Railway Heritage Awards, held in London in December 2017.

The railway took home the Siemens Signalling Award for the Horsted Keynes signal box and signalling project. This was jointly won with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for their work on signalling between Goathland and New Bridge.

Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, presented the award to Charles Hudson MBE, Bill Dyer, and James Young, who were representing the heritage railway.

This is the second year in a row that the railway has won the award. In 2016, the Kingscote signalling project was the winner.

Tough competition for the Stagecoach Volunteers Award meant that the Friends of Sheffield Park group were awarded a Highly Commended Certificate for the restoration of the LB&SCR entrance porch at Sheffield Park.

What did the officials say?

In their comments, the judges noted that, “the project is an outstanding example of how to both preserve the essential features and character of a heritage railway whilst upgrading it to meet the current operational needs of a successful enterprise. Given that the primary function of the signal box is to maintain the safety of the trains operating on the railway, it is especially pleasing that this has been achieved by utilising a combination of heritage equipment, including unique and authentic block and token instruments”. They also commended the “immense amount of highly skilled work behind the resignalling of Horsted Keynes station.”

Commenting on the porch, one judge reported that “the overall effect is splendid and creates an entrance that is in perfect harmony with the building.” The overall category winner was the Yarrows Heritage Trust for its restoration of Thrumster Station on the long-closed line between Wick and Lybster in northern Scotland.

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