Young rail leader to address awards

The outspoken chair-elect of the organisation that encourages young people into the railway industry is set to address the biggest event in heritage rail. 

Current Vice-chair – and chair-elect - of Young Rail Professionals, Bonnie Price, has been announced as the guest speaker for the Heritage Railway Association’s Annual Dinner and Awards 2023. Bonnie is expected to talk about the valuable role that young people play in all aspects of the UK’s railway industry – including heritage rail - and about the opportunities that working in rail present for anyone starting a career. 

Bonnie has extensive experience with a number of national network railway operating companies including Network Rail. She will be speaking in front of hundreds of volunteers, staff, directors and trustees from across the heritage railway world at the HRA Annual Dinner and Awards event in Birmingham on Saturday, March 11.  

Alongside Bonnie, the evening will include the presentation of awards in 11 categories recognising great work in everything from steam locomotive restoration to infrastructure projects and marketing success. The 2023 HRA Annual Awards is proudly sponsored by leading steam locomotive lubricant producers Hallett Oils. 

Heritage Railway Association Chief Executive, Steve Oates, said: “It’s really exciting to have Bonnie as our guest speaker. Engaging with young people is so vital to the future of heritage rail that Bonnie is a perfect fit for this event.  

“I’m hoping everyone involved in the evening will learn how they can do more to encourage young people to get stuck into heritage rail in whatever shape or form, but also just how much the experience and knowledge of working on a heritage railway can benefit a young person’s career.” 

Young Rail Professionals was founded in 2009 to promote the rail industry as a great place to work, inspirethe next generation of railway talent and develop young people to reach their potential. YRP brings together people from all aspects of the industry, whether they are involved in engineering, asset management, train operations, strategic planning, maintenance, franchising, regulation, marketing, human relations or otherwise. 

The shortlist for what have been dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the sector was revealed in early February after hours of deliberation by 14 judges. The shortlist pits narrow gauge industrial saddle tanks against named Great Western express locomotives and 15in gauge railways against their much bigger standard gauge brethren for top honours. The winners will be revealed during the evening and tickets are available now at