Network Rail plays an active role in preserving railway artefacts and records for future generations.
Respecting our railway history and heritage is an important part of what we do – as we undertake major projects and in our day-to-day work developing the railway infrastructure for the 21st century.
The Railway Heritage Act
The railway is the only industry that has specific legislation protecting its heritage. The Railway Heritage Act enables historically significant artefacts and records that are operational within today's railway industry to be ‘designated’ – protected and saved for the nation so that future generations will be able to understand the history of the railway in Britain.
Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board (RHDAB)
The Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board (RHDAB) is the body that decides which artefacts and records are historically significant enough to be designated. Its membership is drawn from the railway industry, museums, archives and the railway heritage sector. When designated artefacts and records are no longer required by the operational railway, the Board also agrees where these items will go in order to be preserved and made accessible to the public.
Network Rail is represented on the RHDAB by Vicky Stretch, our Archivist.
A full list of artefacts and records that have designated status can be found on the RHDAB website.