What is HOPS?

HOPS is a support community for heritage railways.

The project was started in 2009 and now administers over 20,000 staff at 176 heritage centres and museums.

Primarily through the provision of online management tools, HOPS aims to provide best-practice solutions for preserved and heritage railways, museums and centres to manage staff, operations, and compliance. Virtually all aspects of data processing, recording and ancillary administration relevant to the heritage sector are within the ultimate scope of this system.

HOPS also provides services such as our UK-wide ID card system, bulk-buying consumables and uniform items for sale to heritage railway staff and volunteers in our shop, UK-side Safety Circular system for sharing of lessons learned, and regular online Workshops for subjects such as Safety Management Systems.

HOPS is continuously under development by heritage and profesional railway staff.

How is HOPS useful?

HOPS was formed to make administrative processes easier, by provision of tools, and better, by provision of expertise in the creation of tools, and sharing of best practice around the industry. There are significant benefits to a railway from having a single system in use for defined information. For example, all railway rosters, competence records, in one place with controlled access, instead of being kept by a few people and not being available when required, enables managers to conduct self-assurance of the quality of competence evidence and assessment decision-making. HOPS provides these management systems in its online software range.

It really is not appropriate in this day and age for railway management systems to be unaccountable or unavailable or 'in people's heads', and that extends far beyond the Safety Management System. Many administration and data-handling functions are now absolutely business-critical to heritage railway undertakings.

Over time HOPS has also developed some services outside of its software range, such as a UK-wide ID card system, Safety Circulars and Live Workshops - all designed to help share and develop best-practice and avoid the requirement for each undertaking to 'reinvent the wheel' independently.

What HOPS is not:

HOPS is NOT about controlling heritage railways, it is not the case that a railway joins HOPS and then a computer dictates what to do and when to do it. HOPS is about giving all railways access to the tools and services to run their railway more effectively and with greater control, making the best use of best-practices from around the industry.

Who runs HOPS?

HOPS was set up in 2009 specifically for the purpose of operating our software tools and other services for the benefit of heritage railways. Our income comes from our membership fees, tools and consumables shop, and contract software work.

From the beginning HOPS has been run by Danny Scroggins, a career railwayman from Network Rail Operations and several heritage railways and keen enthusiast of railway operations, Great Western signalling history and heritage railways.

If you would like more information about HOPS, please contact us.