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Stafford project leads winning innovations


2016 awards honour cutting-edge industry developments

The 2016 Railway Industry Innovation Awards winners were announced at a meeting of the Modern Railways Fourth Friday Club held at the Paddington Hilton in London on Friday 24 June. The guest of honour and keynote speaker was Stephen Glaister, chair at the Office of Rail and Road, who discussed the changing role of the regulator within the industry.

Modern Railways Industry and Technology Editor Roger Ford presided over the awards, which were handed out in seven categories. The winners were:


Major Project: The Staffordshire Alliance

The Staffordshire Area Improvements Programme has been delivered by a partnership of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail. The £250 million programme included the construction of the new grade-separated flyover at Norton Bridge, and this element of the scheme was delivered 12 months ahead of schedule.

Highly commended: Hitachi Rail Europe – Newton Aycliffe rail vehicle manufacturing facility


Environment: Govia Thameslink Railway – ‘one planet railway’ project

A company-wide programme for promoting sustainability, this project has seen GTR achieve an 85% recycling rate across its network. The company is now developing a zero waste to landfill programme, while over 40 staff have volunteered as area champions for the environment and sustainability forums have been held.

Highly commended: Transport for London – Upminster Bridge swale; Network Rail – ecology app


Cross-industry partnership: Perpetuum and Keolis Amey Docklands – vibration monitoring

A collaboration between Perpetuum and the DLR operator has seen vibration sensors fitted to the DLR’s B07 fleet to monitor traction motor bearing failures. The sensor provided continuous feedback to the maintenance and engineering team, allowing defects to be detected early, reducing the number of in-service failures and improving unit availability.

Highly commended: Abellio Greater Anglia & Dura – composite platform; Arriva Trains Wales and Cambrian Railways Partnership – confident traveller project


Passenger experience: London Overground – real-time information for staff

London Overground’s (LOROL’s) ‘Orinoco’ app was developed to provide comprehensive real-time information to staff, from journey planning to updates from the operator’s control room. The launch of the app was combined with the provision of smartwatches to staff and the development of an online knowledge base named ‘Lorolpedia’.

Highly commended: London Underground – Victoria Line crowding indicators; Govia Thameslink Railway – information super railway


Operations & Performance: Network Rail – Switches and Crossings decision support tool

The first of its kind in the industry, NR’s innovation provides a single source of data about the network’s 23,000 switches and crossings, enabling engineers to make better decisions about renewal and replacement of assets. A proof of concept was provided in June 2015, and rollout is planned in the autumn.

Highly commended: 3Squared – RailSmart employee development system; Thales – 4LM radio design and survey methodology


Small scale project: London Underground – Wayfindr app

Wayfindr is a mobile app designed to make the London Underground network more accessible for visually impaired people. Using beacons, passengers are guided through stations, reducing barriers to travel while helping LU offer a consistent, tailored service and freeing up staff who would otherwise need to escort people around stations.

Highly commended: Abellio Greater Anglia & Cubic Transportation Systems – NextAgent virtual ticket office; Transport for London – recyclable escalator handrail


Engineering & Safety

Due to the quality of the entries in this category the judges decided to appoint two winners, one for engineering and one for safety. They were:

Engineering: Bombardier – ‘Aventra’ EMU

The manufacturer says its new train is lighter, more energy efficient, cheaper to maintain and more reliable than existing UK best-in-class EMUs. The modular design offers a range of train lengths and door configurations and a flexible interior, while the Aventra also incorporates the latest ‘plug and play’ train control and passenger infotainment systems and utilises Bombardier’s Flexx Eco bogie, which reduces wear on track, wheelsets and components.

 Safety: Govia Thameslink Railway – Go-Learn

The Go-Learn scheme aims to equip young people with the knowledge and awareness of safe and independent rail travel. In conjunction with the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, material has been delivered to over 4,500 children since July 2015.

Highly commended: Voith Turbo – DIWARail transmission


Full details of the awards will be featured in the August 2016 issue of Modern Railways.

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