The Watford Group

The Watford Group is an international expert forum for railway design professionals. It  was inaugurated in 1963 by the architects and designers from the railway administrations of Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Sweden as part of the annual gathering of British Rails regional architects and was named after the town in southern England where the original meetings were held.

The aim of the Watford Group is:

  • To encourage the interchange of ideas across national boundaries, identifying best practices and promoting quality design thus helping to develop and maintain the highest standards of coordinated railway design.
  • To make information available to institutions, administrations and political authorities and advise on railway-related issues in the fields of environmental protection, rural and urban development, rail property management, architecture and engineering, design of rolling stock, and design or other railway-related industrial products, as well as design of graphic and artwork.
  • To preserve, promote, and carry forward the richness and magic of the railway mode into the future.  

It was decided in 1989 to make the annual gathering a travelling event. Since then the Watford Conference has been organised by most of the participating European countries, by the USA (1994 and 2011) and by Japan (2006), thus responding to a more and more international context of railway architecture and design.

In 2014 the Watford Conference will take place in Amsterdam. Click here for more information in the conference page.


Watford Conference and Brunel Award Ceremony 2014
In 2014 the 49th Watford Conference and 12th Brunel Award Ceremony took place in Amsterdam from October 15-18. The diverse programme included presentations, workshops, debates and interesting tours. Visits were organised to, among others, the large-scale projects at the stations of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Arnhem and Utrecht. Please click here for more information about the conference.