Rail heritage body plans to be more inclusive

Organisations with an interest in preserving the history of Britain̵7;s railways have been given until 5 September to respond to Government plans to extend the activities of the non-departmental Railway Heritage Committee.

Established in 2005 under the Railway Heritage Act, the committee is responsible for identifying, or ̵6;designating̵7;, records and artefacts it believes need to be preserved. A selection of these on display at the National Railway Museum in York include the memorial board to Henry West who lost his life to a whirlwind at Reading station in 1840, as well as train nameplates to honour Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the TV presenter Michael Palin.

The Department for Transport consultation paper, ̵6;Updating the scope and membership of the Railway Heritage Committee̵7;, looks at whether the committee̵7;s scope should be extended to cover bodies that were not included in the original legislation. If approved, the proposals would see it working with organisations such as the British Transport Police, Transport for London and the Rail Safety and Standards which are currently excluded from its activities. There would also be provision for recruitment of an official RHC archivist.

Rail Minister Tom Harris said that although the government is focusing on meeting growing demand that saw a record number of journeys made on the UK rail network in 2007, it believes it is important to protect the past. ̶0;I encourage everyone with an interest in rail heritage to respond to the consultation so that we can better secure the artefacts and records of rail history,̶1; he said.

Further information:
www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open

Image: The Railway Heritage Committee has bee operating since 2005

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