Theo Steel

Our Chairman, Theo Steel, sadly died on 20th October aged 72. His railway career started when he joined British Rail in 1970 from Oxford University and became Assistant General Manager in East Anglia in the 1980’s. He then worked on planning the route of the Channel Tunnel Rail link in 1989/90 before becoming Managing Director for Regional Railways, South Wales and West until 1995 and then to London and Continental until 1998. After that he returned to Great Eastern as Commercial and later Managing Director until 2004. Following that he was Project Director planning the investment for the Olympics and particularly at Stratford. He also had a portfolio of external Chairmanships including Renaissance Southend and the Essex Development Agency as well as a Governor of Prospects College in Basildon.

Theo became involved in the Awards in 2012 as a judge and then as an Adjudicator before joining the Management Committee in March 2018, taking over as Chairman in 2020.


We are the only Awards body dedicated to encouraging and rewarding best practice in the restoration and continued upkeep of our rich heritage of railway and tramway buildings and structures.

The Awards began in 1979 and initially focused on the then youthful heritage railway preservation movement. Privatisation in the 1990’s saw substantial investment in the infrastructure of the national rail network. Entries from the national sector now form a substantial part of the Awards.

The Awards became an independent Trust in 2004;  their charitable status was confirmed by the Charity Commission in December 2006

The Awards would not be possible without the generous support of our Sponsors.
For more information about the Sponsors, please click on
The Awards” section and the Sponsors’ link at the top of this page.

" To recognise, acknowledge and reward, for the public benefit, the very best in restoration, conservation and re-use of our historic railway infrastructure. "

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