HS2020 – Managing Health and Safety at Passenger-carrying Miniature Railways

It is now a requirement that all members participating in public operations (ie carrying non-members) should be familiar with HS2020 – Managing Health and Safety at Passenger-carrying Miniature Railways.  This is the new policy document that replaces HSG216

HS2020 will now be the safety guidance document that HSE refers to and therefore the operators of passenger-carrying miniature railways are advised that they should do likewise

To view HS2020 click here



The former HSG216 had been the principal safety guidance for passenger-carrying miniature railways since  publication by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2002. However it is no longer part of HSE’s guidance suite: it was withdrawn around seven years ago during the HSE’s review of all of its guidance. It is no longer supported or available from HSE. The reason it was withdrawn was because it was due for review and it did not fit the criteria to remain part of HSE’s guidance suite. The resource was therefore not made available to do the work and it was withdrawn.

Model engineering associations, federations and societies together with operators of commercial miniature railways and the miniature railway suppliers and traders realised that a replacement guidance document was essential in order to avoid miniature railways falling to be dealt with alongside fairgrounds and amusement parks. As a result of that thinking a new group, the Passenger Carrying Miniature Railway Safety Group (PCMRSG), was established in 2017 with the objective of drafting a new guide for the safe operation of passenger carrying miniature railways. The group presently includes 10¼” Gauge Railway Society, 7¼” Gauge Society, Heywood Society, Midland Federation of Model Engineers, Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies, Northern Association of Model Engineers, Britain’s Great Little Railways, National Railway Museum and several manufacturers/suppliers of passenger carrying miniature railway equipment.

The new safety guide, HS2020 – Managing Health and Safety at Passenger-carrying Miniature Railways has been fully endorsed by HSE,   If an operator becomes embroiled in a legal action after an accident, the framework established by HSG2020 will be used by the prosecution/plaintiff as demonstrating good practice. And likewise, if an operator has followed the guidance they can show that they have made reasonable effort.

Members are encouraged to consider what is indicated in HS2020.  The guide does not tell you what to do, but identifies the subjects you ought to address in order to seek to achieve the levels of safety your members and the visiting public will expect.


The obselete HGS216 document is available to view for historical purposes  here