In response to the continuing uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, we regret that Modern Railways Fourth Friday Club events will not be held in person before next spring. However, the programme of awards ceremonies and events will move to a new online format, which will be made available to club members and Modern Railways subscribers. The programme of events for 2020 had already been rescheduled at the onset of the pandemic earlier this year.
Two awards events are scheduled before Christmas and will take place on their planned dates. The winners of the Railway Industry Innovation Awards will be unveiled online on Friday 23 October in a ceremony which will feature contributions from shortlisted entrants and sponsors. In addition to the usual awards in seven categories, the judges have this year decided to create a special category to recognise innovations from rail companies who have responded to the Covid crisis. As well as the online ceremony, the winners and shortlisted entries will feature in a special supplement in the December issue of Modern Railways magazine.
Following this will be the Golden Spanner awards, recognising the most reliable trains in the UK based on fleet reliability data, which will be revealed on Friday 27 November in an online ceremony. As usual, Roger Ford’s analysis of reliability data across all fleets will feature in the January 2021 issue of Modern Railways.
The Rail in the North of England conference, due to be held in York on 2 October, will also move online. Rather than a full day event, a series of three online sessions will take place during November featuring speakers from the scheduled conference programme. Further details will be provided about the dates and schedule for this shortly.
The Rail in Wales and the West conference, planned for January, will also move online and be held in the New Year.
The current aim is that the first Fourth Friday Club event to be held in the traditional format will be the Golden Whistle awards, which will take place in London on 26 March 2021. The Rail in the Midlands conference will be rescheduled for a later date in 2021.
We have already confirmed separately that Modern Railways RVE, the original dedicated show for the rolling stock sector, will not take place as planned on 5 November at Derby Arena, in an announcement made on the show website at www.rve-expo.co.uk last week.