Paul Abell

Former editor of Today’s Railways UK

Paul is a lifelong railway enthusiast, especially after a round trip on the Liverpool Overhead Railway. After a career as an engineering and maths teacher, he became editor of Today’s Railways UK.

Chris Austin OBE

Former director, community rail development at the Strategic Rail Authority

Chris is secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail and an active member of the Avocet Line Rail User Group in Devon. He chairs the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust and is a regular volunteer on the line. He is a former Association of Community Rail Partnerships board member and has had a railway career spanning 42 years.

Kulvinder Bassi MBE

Community rail team leader, Department for Transport

Kul has responsibility for the delivery of the Department for Transport’s Community Rail Strategy and is their stakeholder manager for community rail partnerships and station adoption groups.

Paul Bigland

Photographer & writer

Paul is a well-known photographer and writer whose career spans 20 years. He works for both the national and international media and companies within the rail industry.

Mark Barker

Chair, Cheshire Best Kept Stations

Mark is a career railwayman now retired after a lengthy career, latterly as client & stakeholder manager for Northern Rail. He is now chair of Cheshire Best Kept Stations, a group that recognises, promotes and rewards the work of volunteer and community groups at stations in the former county of Cheshire.

Martyn Brunt

Land manager Midlands, Sustrans

Having spent over 15 years working in senior management roles in the rail industry, ten years ago Martyn combined his love of trains with his love of cycling by joining the sustainable transport charity Sustrans. He has since become their cycle/rail integration expert, managing and delivering multiple projects improving access to stations for people who walk and cycle. He is also a member of the Department for Transport’s Cycle Rail Working Group, and formerly managed a station access project which was a multiple award winner at the Rail Delivery Group’s Cycle Rail Awards.

Nicky Forsdike

Railway consultant, Forsdike Associates

Nicky has an extensive background in developing business and marketing plans for railways. In 2018 she completed a PhD at the University of York which explores how rail industry managers know what they know, and why new timetables fail in implementation. Alongside her continued research she teaches marketing, business planning and entrepreneurship at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Bill Freeman

Chief executive, Community Transport Association

Bill has been chief executive of the Community Transport Association since 2013. He leads their staff team and manages relationships with senior politicians, government officials and other national representative bodies and charities. He speaks, writes and tweets regularly on community transport and the association’s wider interest in making passenger transport accessible and inclusive for all. Bill has spent the last 19 years in senior roles in national membership bodies within the UK’s voluntary and community sector, focusing on a diverse range of public policy areas including education, youth services and health.

Jan Garrill

Chief executive, Two Ridings Community Foundation

Jan has been chief executive of the Two Ridings Community Foundation since September 2014. She started her working life in transport with British Rail, Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Authority and Stagecoach, and held the position of head of communities at Newcastle City Council.

Dominic Lund-Conlon

Head of accessibility and inclusion, Rail Delivery Group

Dominic has worked in transport policy for ten years on a variety of challenges, both customer and strategy focused.  As a person with lived and professional experience, Dominic focuses on inclusive solutions that empower customers to control their journey with confidence and dignity. Recent projects include the Passenger Assist Improvement Programme and supporting Greater Anglia with the design and implementation of the new Stadler Flirt vehicles.

Shawney Murphy

Stations and community rail policy manager, Department for Transport

Shawney has been the stations and community rail policy manager at the Department for Transport since October 2018. Prior to this she worked as a policy lead at the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. Shawney also worked at Transport for London for several years, latterly as a station development manager, responsible for the development of station strategies for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

William Powell

Transport Focus board member

William has been active in Welsh public affairs since 2004 as a county councillor, National Park Authority member, and a member of the National Assembly for Wales until 2016. He is currently county councillor for the Talgarth ward in Powys. William has a strong interest in rural policy, sustainability and transport. He has been a board member of several organisations in the voluntary sector and is a partner in the family farm. His background is as a teacher of modern languages and European studies.

Peter Roberts MBE

Chair Emeritus, Community Rail Network

With a career in transport spanning more than fifty years – public and private sectors, bus and train – Peter has been active in community rail at all levels for the past twenty years. Awarded an MBE for services to rural transport, he was chair of ACoRP from 2003 to 2018. As a writer and historian, he continues his research and publications on rural transport.

Mark Rose

Stations commercial lead, HS2

Mark has been with HS2 Ltd for just over three years. Prior to this he led on the development of the stations policy for Transport for Greater Manchester. A former head of stations policy for the Department for Transport, he was architect of the new franchising vision for stations. Mark was also a contributor to the Rail Delivery Group’s “Vision for Stations” as part of its Station Strategy Group.

Barbara Saunders OBE

Consumer consultant

Barbara is a consumer consultant and past board member of Passenger Focus (now Transport Focus), which represented passengers in the bus and rail sectors. She has considerable experience of complaints handling and regulating professions. Barbara is currently a trustee of the Association of Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition Sciences. She brings an independent and analytical approach to the judging process.

Andy Savage

Executive director, Railway Heritage Trust

Andy has been the executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust for the last ten years. This post has involved the restoration of the industry’s built heritage and finding new uses for redundant property. Previously deputy chief inspector of Rail Accidents, Andy has always had an interest in railway heritage, with over thirty years as director of the Ffestiniog Railway.

Nik Schofield

Communications & marketing manager, Community Rail Network

Nik is responsible for communications and marketing at Community Rail Network. He has a wealth of experience in advising on visual communication and design from previous roles with charities and local government, which he now applies within the organisation and to its members. Nik also edits Community Rail News and runs Community Rail Network’s social media channels

Jim Trotman

Former tourism specialist

Jim has been the vice-chair of the Lakes Line in Cumbria since 2018 and has been involved with community rail for many years. When working as tourism manager for Lancaster City Council, he founded the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership and spent over seven years as an ACoRP board member. In 2010 he became the community rail officer for the Furness and Lakes lines, working closely with local station groups, councils and Cumbria Tourism during his eight years in this role. Although Jim retired in April 2018, he is still involved at least one day per week.