Shortlisted for national award!

The Downs Light Railway is delighted to be shortlisted for the Heritage Railway Association's Annual Awards for 2021. The Downs Light Railway was nominated in the Small Groups Award category for youth engagement and shortlisted by the nominations panel of the Heritage Railway Association.

The HRA Awards Ceremony, the railways equivalent of the BAFTA Awards, will be held in March / April 2021. The winner will be announced on the day of the awards ceremony. Voting the winner from the shortlist nominees is done by secret ballot.


The success of our nomination into the shortlist for the Small Group Award category is testament to the time and effort devoted by everyone involved in the Downs Light Railway. In the last few years, the Trust has come a long way to advance youth participation on the Downs Light Railway. The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a challenging year, yet we have achieved an incredible amount.

Everything we do on the Downs Light Railway is centred around young people. Inspiring the next generation is not only critical to the future viability of heritage and tourist railways, but also the wider science technology engineering industry sectors of the United Kingdom. I am so pleased that the efforts of everyone involved with the Downs Light Railway has been recognised at a national level alongside the full size railways.


Heritage Railway Assocation

A voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations.

Shortlist Nominees for the HRA Small Groups Award

  • Downs Light Railway for Youth Engagement
  • Tarka Valley Railway - Progress steaming ahead
  • Southern Electric Traction Group for restoring 4VEP no.3417
  • East Somerset Railway for their platform extension and Museum
  • Quorn Wagon and Wagon for their wagon programme
  • Bahamas Locomotive Society for Steve Allsop 50 years their Chief Engineer
  • Hull and Barnsley Railway for Project 58 and the move to Hull College

Editor Notes

  1. The Heritage Railway Association or HRA is a voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations. More than 180 of its member organisations regularly open to the public, with 156 of these operating with passengers, although a few only give rides on special days. They have over 300 corporate members in total.
  2. The Downs Light Railway Trust is a corporate member of the HRA.
  3. The Downs Light Railway Trust was nominated for the HRA Award for Small Groups. The Small Groups award category is for HRA member organisations from the smaller categories of membership, for excellence in developing their business, or for an item not covered elsewhere in the awards categories.
  4. The Downs Light Railway Trust is a charitable trust, registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Registration number is 513882.
  5. The Downs Light Railway Trust at time of nomination has five members on its Board of Trustees, two regular staff members, two seconded staff members from The Downs Malvern, and five adult volunteers.
  6. The Downs Light Railway occupies on average 15 children on each session. These children are aged between 7 and 18 years old. Dedicated sessions are provided to local educational establishments. General youth activities are open to all children.
  7. The Downs Light Railway was started in 1925. At 96 years old, it stands to be the oldest private miniature railway worldwide.

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