One of the highest accolades given to recognise railway preservation in the UK and Ireland has been awarded to Electric Railway Museum
. The Coventry-based attraction has received the prestigious Small Groups Award from the Heritage Railway Association. The award identifies the work done by Electric Railway Museum since its creation in 2008 as an outstanding contribution to railway preservation, specifically in recognition of its excellence in the preservation of less fashionable stock outside the scope of most heritage railways.
As an umbrella organisation, the Heritage Railway Association represents the interests of the majority of heritage and tourist railways, tramways and railway preservation groups within the UK and Ireland with over 250 members. Their Small Groups Award is judged annually by a committee comprising representatives of the HRA Board and Committees and editors from the national railway press. The award itself is a carved panel from a Royal carriage provided for Queen Victoria by the Great Western Railway and will be presented to Electric Railway Museum at a ceremony in the New Year.
Heritage Railway Magazine Editor, Robin Jones, said: What the museum volunteers at Electric Railway Museum are doing is preservation in its purest form. Steam engines will always woo the crowds, but very few groups are involved in saving items of electric rolling stock because they cannot be run under their own power on preserved railways. Electric traction, which has too often come a poor third behind steam locomotives and heritage diesels in the preservation stakes, makes up a huge proportion of our modern railways network. Essential items must be saved for future generations if we are to have a complete view of railway history and heritage.
Given the right degree of support and backing from the powers that be, this splendid museum should take off as a major and unique visitor attraction for Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands, while providing a fantastic and unrivalled education resource.
Electric Railway Museum aims to promote the heritage of all electric trains in the UK through traction and rolling stock restoration, display and operation, along with work in gathering historically relevant technical and photographic archives. Electric railways have a long history that is rich in both technical innovation and socio-economic impact. Many aspects of our everyday life would not have been possible without the creation of the electric railway, from high-speed rail travel (such as the Channel Tunnel) to underground railways and commuter travel.
The work of Electric Railway Museum at is entirely run by volunteers and funded by donations from the public. The site is home to a sizeable collection of preserved electric locomotives and multiple units, containing unique items that are the last survivors of once typical and numerous classes.
Chairman of Electric Railway Museum, Graeme Gleaves said: This is the highest level of recognition we could achieve in the UK railway heritage sector. The award is testament to everything that we have worked so hard to achieve over the last few years and proof that what we are doing is not only the right thing, but that the results are being noticed far beyond our own perimeter fence.
I cannot thank all the volunteers who have worked effortlessly to make this happen enough. I am so proud of each and every one of them; we have built an outstanding team that have turned the site from a storage depot to a viable museum and this award is something for us all to share and celebrate
Electric Railway Museum is available for visits throughout the year, subject to prior notice. However, keep checking the museums website for details of their ever-popular Open Weekends, when the site is fully open with events and activities on offer for all ages.