RFG Awards 2021: Call for entries 

Download an entry form here. 


We are very pleased to launch the RFG Awards 2021, which recognise excellence in all aspects of rail freight. The period of eligibility covered by the awards is 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, so we anticipate that there will be many examples of outstanding efforts made by members of the rail freight community during the Covid-19 crisis. In fact, we have added a special category to recognise Covid Heroes – hopefully a category for one year only!

We would encourage all our members to use this opportunity to take the chance to acknowledge the outstanding work done by your teams up and down the country, each and every day.

We are planning that winners will be presented with their trophies at an informal ceremony and dinner
ON: Thursday 9 September 2021
AT: De Vere Latimer Estate, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1UG.

(Otherwise it will be online as it was last year).

Awards categories

  • Customer Care (incorporating Support Services)
  • Community and Environmental Responsibility
  • Innovation & Technical Development
  • Rail Freight Project of the Year
  • Covid Heroes Special Award
  • Outstanding Individual Contribution
  • Young Rail Freight Professional
  • Business of the Year Award (nominated and chosen by the judges from entries received)


Entry process

Submissions must be made by RFG corporate members and must refer to activities taking place between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. Members may compete in as many entry categories as they wish and can enter the same project/innovation etc in different categories if appropriate.

Each entry submitted must not exceed 2,000 words, although judges welcome supporting statements from third parties that do not exceed 500 words. No pre-published advertising or marketing materials will be accepted for consideration.

All entries, including an entry form, should be sent to yvonne@susans86.sg-host.com and must be received no later than noon on Friday 28 May 2021. Entries will be judged by an independent judging panel and the decisions of the judges are final.


Award categories

Customer Care (incorporating Support Services)

This category is open to all member companies who have demonstrated excellent performance in the overall delivery of customer service. Entries should clearly illustrate the outstanding commitment that the company has shown to its customers or to the industry generally, either on an on-going day-to-day basis or during a specific period.

This includes all businesses such as legal practices, councils, property developers and consultancies which support the rail industry as well as those providing more direct technical/ operational support and those running rail services for shippers.

Judges will be looking for a winner who has clearly demonstrated not only an in-depth understanding of its customers’ and/or the industry’s needs but also a genuine commitment to serving those needs.


Community & Environmental Responsibility

The rail freight industry recognises that we need to act responsibly and sustainability with respect to communities and to the environment. This category recognises initiatives that are taken in these areas. We welcome submissions from companies which can demonstrate environmental improvement, for instance, cutting noise, improving air quality and developing new rail freight flows which reduce road congestion, or otherwise reducing environmental impacts.

This award also seeks to recognise companies involved in projects such community/school projects or charity events which bring benefits to wider society and, in doing so, help promote the rail freight industry.


Innovation and Technical Development

Entries in this category may include descriptions of innovations in the range or quality of services provided to customers as well as in technical development of infrastructure, rolling stock, handling equipment, safety and communications systems, etc.

It also includes the launch or extension of training and apprenticeship programmes, recognising that upskilling and recruitment are vital for the future of the industry and for driving innovation and technical development and improving safety.

Submissions should demonstrate that the innovation, technical development or skills programme submitted has improved, or is improving, the service quality, safety, productivity, cost-effectiveness or capacity of rail freight services or otherwise contributing to the sustainability and growth of rail freight.


Rail Freight Project of the Year

This is a wide-ranging entry category. An eligible project may comprise anything from a new civil engineering maintenance programme or technique to reduce interruptions to rail freight services, new infrastructure facilities to improve network capacity and reliability, products to encourage modal shift and/or other environmental benefits or operational initiatives to increase service speeds or freight train weights / lengths.

The main criterion is that the project should make, or should directly contribute to, a significant improvement in the quality, range and or safety of services offered to freight users, as well as enhancing the market prospects for rail freight.


Covid Heroes Special Award

This special award, hopefully for one year only, will recognise individuals and/or teams in the rail freight industry who made outstanding efforts to help others during the Covid-19 crisis. We are looking for those who made a significant contribution to either supporting rail freight services and/or in helping their local community to overcome problems related to the pandemic.


Outstanding Individual Contribution

The RFG would like to encourage its members to nominate a member of staff who has made an outstanding contribution to their business and the interest of rail freight. It gives the opportunity for companies to publicly recognise their staff who make a real difference within the business and/or with customers.


Young Rail Freight Professional 

This category recognises the importance to the industry of encouraging and helping to develop its newest staff, who often go unrecognised. It is open to staff under 30 years of age on 1 January 2021 who should be nominated by a manager or colleague (or customer) for providing exceptional service or a major contribution to a project or programme.
This category is also open to those who have entered the industry in the last two years (from 1 January 2019 onwards) and have made an outstanding contribution in that time. Entries submitted should contain clear examples of where the nominee has made a significant contribution to rail freight, the company and/or its customers.


Business of the Year Award

The winner of the Business of the Year award is selected by the judging panel from all entries received on the basis of the successful organisation’s all-round performance.


If you have any questions about the awards categories or the criteria please contact Yvonne Mulder, Project Manager, at yvonne@susans86.sg-host.com or Tel: 07887 767 666.



Those entrants who have been shortlisted for an award, will be advised at least one month before the date of the awards dinner on Thursday 9 September 2021.



The winners and runners-up in each award category will be given an engraved trophy. Winners’ names will be publicised by RFG in its own publications and in other recognised freight and rail industry media.


Booking a table

If you wish to book a table at the awards dinner on Thursday 9 September and/or donate a prize to the raffle, please contact Phillippa O’Shea, Administration Manager, at Phillippa@susans86.sg-host.com



The 2021 RFG awards are kindly sponsored by

Burges Salmon LLP and GB Railfreight (GBRf)