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SWT scoops top Spanners prizes


Awards honour engineers’ efforts

The efforts of train maintenance teams, depots and rolling stock leasing companies were once again celebrated at the Golden Spanners Awards for train reliability on 25 November 2016, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Modern Railways’ Industry & Technology Editor Roger Ford oversaw proceedings once again, analysing the results and handing out the trophies. After-lunch guest speaker Richard McClean, managing director at Grand Central, told the audience about the various trains fleets he has been involved with during his career on the railways, highlighting the importance of care for rolling stock.

Three awards are given in each category:

  • Gold Spanner – most reliable train based on Miles per Technical Incident (MTIN)
  • Silver Spanner – most improved fleet (percentage improvement in MTIN)
  • Bronze Spanner – fastest incident recovery (based on primary delay per incident)

The winners were as follows:


  • Gold – Class 159/0 – South West Trains/Salisbury depot/Porterbrook (246,099 MTIN)
  • Silver – Class 155 – Northern/Neville Hill depot/Porterbrook (36.6% improvement)
  • Bronze – Class 156 – ScotRail/Corkerhill depot/Angel Trains (8.0 minute delay)


  • Gold – Class 455 – South West Trains/Wimbledon depot/Porterbrook (74,763 MTIN)
  • Silver – Class 317/7 & 317/8 – London Overground/Ilford depot/Angel Trains (240.1% improvement)
  • Bronze – Class 507 – Merseyrail/Birkenhead depot/Angel (4.4 minute delay)


  • Gold – Class 90/Mk 3 – Greater Anglia/Crown Point depot/Porterbrook (48,122 MTIN)
  • Silver – Class 37/4 and loco-hauled coaching stock – Northern/Carlisle Kingmoor depot/Direct Rail Services (36.79% improvement)
  • Bronze – HST – Great Western Railway/Laira depot/Angel, Porterbrook, FirstGroup (10.1 minute delay)

Wild card award for best performing HST

  • Gold – Virgin Trains East Coast/Craigentinny/Angel Trains and Porterbrook (17,459 MTIN)

New generation DMU

  • Gold – Class 185 – TransPennine Express/Ardwick depot/Eversholt (23,052 MTIN)
  • Silver – Class 172 – London Overground/Willesden depot/Angel Trains (29.2% improvement)
  • Bronze – Class 171 – Govia Thameslink Railway/Selhurst depot/Porterbrook (4.9 minute delay)

New generation EMU

  • Gold – Class 444 – South West Trains/Northam depot/Angel Trains (171,834 MTIN)
  • Silver – Class 458/5 – South West Trains/Wimbledon depot/Porterbrook (515.1% improvement)
  • Bronze – Class 334 – ScotRail/Shields depot/Eversholt (4.8 minute delay)


A full fleet-by-fleet analysis by Roger Ford will appear in the January issue of Modern Railways magazine.

Roger Ford announced at the event that the 2017 awards will see a refresh of the categories. In recognition of the fact that it is now 20 years since privatisation and the introduction of the first new generation EMUs and DMUs, a third category is to be introduced for mid-life rolling stock.

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