HRA Committees focus on a range of relevant issues and topics across business, heritage, legal, employment, training, education, equality and diversity, museums and operating and safety.

Committees review and shape standards and guidance for our sector, provide technical support for members and help keep members up to date with the latest developments, insights and trends.

Committee members are largely drawn from HRA member organisations and include a range of subject specialists and those with relevant real-life experience.

All committee members are volunteers giving their time, knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all organisations across our sector. Brief details of each committee are set out below. We are always keen to hear from people who are willing to assist and serve on committees. We would love to hear from you if you have relevant expertise – in the first instance please email: with details of your experience.


Boiler Code of Practice (BCOP)

The Heritage Railway Association hosts and manages the Boiler Code of Practice group. The group is made up of experts in the field of steam locomotive boiler use, maintenance and repair.

The group publishes extensive guidance that represents the current view on good practice in the heritage rail sector.

The guidance is focussed on the requirements of mainline, standard gauge and narrow gauge railway locomotive boilers typically running on gauges of 15in or above. It may also be helpful for operators of stationary steam engines with similar boilers, traction engines and miniature steam locomotives.

Chair: TBC

Secretary: John Baxter


Business & Heritage Advisory Committee (BHAC)

The Business & Heritage Advisory Committee work to research and develop business opportunities for our member organisations and to provide guidance and information on good practice across commercial, marketing and communications. The committee looks at the heritage aspects of our sector in a commercial environment, while not compromising heritage we all seek to protect. As part of this they monitor visitor information, business stats and funding opportunities.

Chair: Noel Hartley

Secretary: Stuart Hicks


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)

Equality, diversity & inclusion is a live issue for many sectors including heritage rail. The aim of this working group is to provide information, guidance and, potentially, training to help our members

understand what can be gained by giving this subject appropriate focus. As well as highlighting the issues, the aim is to spell out what diversity means in the workplace, how it relates to the “protected characteristics” identified in the Equalities Act 2010, the opportunities available and the potential for significant business improvement when diversity is embedded in an organisational culture.

Chair: Julie Jones


Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)

Coal, fossil fuels and all the PR around climate change and sustainability has meant environmental matters must now be front of mind within every heritage railway. There are a number of pressing issues where members are looking for guidance and information. Our committee focuses on issues such as trees and carbon offset, lineside management and biodiversity, fossil fuels and bio fuels and whole-site sustainability.

Chair: Andrew Barnes

Secretary: Stuart Hicks


Heritage Tramways (run with UK Tram)

An important part of the heritage rail sector, our tramways have many similar characteristics to railways but many that are unique to them. This committee provides strong networking between heritage tramways and with the modern tramway sector through UK Tram. The committee advises members on operating and regulatory issues.

Chair: Mike Crabtree

Secretary: James Hammett (UK Tram)


Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee (LPAC)

The Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee monitor legislation and other general legal matters. With so many matters of a legal nature affecting our sector, the committee works to provide guidance and information on areas of particular interest to members. The HRA receives numerous enquiries and requests for assistance from members on a range of legal matters – for example: governance, employment, contracts and agreements, charitable and corporate structures, planning law – and the committee helps to provide advice in response to such issues. They act as a link between the HRA and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail and assists the executive in lobbying and advocacy activities with government.

Chair: John Bailey

Secretary: Richard Hartman


Museum Advisory Committee

This committee supports HRA organisations who have museum collections, or consider themselves to be museums, and signposts sources of help and information. They encourage HRA organisations who do not currently consider themselves to be museums, to either become one, or think more like a museum, with potential benefits such as widening audiences and opening up funding streams.

The committee believes passionately that museums and museum collections, and the stories of the people who use the objects, should be a source of wonder for the visitor and inspire creativity, storytelling and exploration.

Chair: Mike Galer

Secretary: Adrian Hall


Operating & Safety Committee (O&S)

The O&S committee is effectively the heritage rail’s principal forum for all matters relating to operating, safety and regulation. Over the years, O&S has produced a raft of technical and operational guidance documents covering items such as boiler maintenance, fitness to run, inspection of infrastructure, filming on heritage railway and management of safety critical work. Alongside its active members from heritage railways, the ORR attend committee meetings and the committee has further links with BESTT and other relevant technical bodies. O&S respond to consultations, review relevant legislative changes, provide regular updates of safety information, and manages a system for issuing urgent safety information.

Chair: Neil Sime

Secretary: John Baxter


Rail Mounted Cableways

This committee works in association with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and aims to promote the interests and wellbeing of all members who are rail mounted cableways, otherwise known as cliff railways or funicular railways. As such it provides strong networking opportunities, monitors legislation and items of specific interest, and works with the regulator for this sector which is His Majesty’s Inspector of Mines rather than the ORR. As with much of the wider heritage rail sector, cableway railways are often located in tourist areas and sometimes within a specific visitor attraction. The committee therefore also aim to help promote cableways as an important part of the tourism environment.

Chair: Chris Price

Secretary: Martin Slader


Scottish Advisory Committee

The Scottish Committee work hard to represent the interests of heritage railway organisations in Scotland with particular reference to legislation and regulations from the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government. They liaise as appropriate with other HRA committees and ensure that

Heritage rail’s voice is heard by those organisations which specifically serve the Scottish business community, such as the Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Museums and Galleries Association. They facilitate the exchange of information and insights between Scottish railways and organise an annual Scottish Forum.

Chair: James West

Secretary: David Winpenny

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