The Watford Group is an international association of railway design professionals founded in 1963. The group embraces the fields of architecture, urban planning, engineering and industrial design related to infrastructure, rolling stock, rail business identity and the associated rail environment.
The purpose of the Group is to engender, inspire and promote good design across these fields of interest and to exchange and share best practice.
The Group formally meets once a year at an event called the Watford Conference during which the host and organiser of the following year’s conference is confirmed.
The elected organiser prepares the Conference at his own discretion and invites professionals whose presence he considers valuable for the quality and richness of the overall exchange and outputs.
Every three years, in addition to the Watford Conference, the chosen organizer holds the Brunel Awards International Railway Design Competition, in conjunction with UIC.
The annual assembly is the governing body of the Watford Group. A steering group exists to assist the next year’s organiser. This group is composed of one representative from the last (conference held the year before), current (conference just held) and next (conference to come) organisers and of three individuals selected for one year by the Conference attendants. The speaker of the steering group and thus of the Watford Group is the representative of the current organiser.