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Spanners reward reliable fleets

Photo: Golden Spanners 2018


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 23 November 2018, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Modern Railways’ Industry & Technology Editor Roger Ford oversaw proceedings, analysing the results and handing out the trophies. After-lunch guest speaker Wayne Jenner of Danburykline highlighted some of the lessons rail can learn from aviation, having worked in both industries.


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)


As in 2017, the categories now include a split between first and second generation new multiple-units, reflecting the advances in technology since privatisation. The 2018 awards also saw, for the first time, the inter-city category split between ex-BR and more modern fleets.

The winners were as follows:



Gold – Class 455 – South Western Railway/Wimbledon depot/Porterbrook

Silver – Class 317/7 & 317/8 – Arriva Rail London/Ilford depot/Angel Trains

Bronze – Class 507 – Merseyrail/Birkenhead depot/Angel Trains



Gold – Class 159/0 – South Western Railway/Salisbury depot/Porterbrook

Silver – Class 153 – Great Western Railway/Exeter depot/Angel Trains & Porterbrook

Bronze – Class 158 – South Western Railway/Salisbury depot/Porterbrook


Wild card – Ken Cordner ‘reliant’ award for Most Reliable Pacer

Gold – Class 142 – Northern/Heaton & Newton Heath depots/Angel Trains


Ex-BR Inter-city

Gold – Class 90/Mk 3 – Greater Anglia/Crown Point depot/Porterbrook

Silver – Class 37/68 & Mk 2 – Northern/Kingmoor depot/Direct Rail Services & JP Morgan Asset Management

Bronze – HST – Great Western Railway/Laira depot/Angel Trains, Porterbrook & FirstGroup


First generation new inter-city

Gold – Class 222 – East Midlands Trains/Etches Park depot/Eversholt

Silver – Class 221 – Virgin Trains/Central Rivers depot/Beacon Rail

Bronze – Class 220 – CrossCountry/Central Rivers depot/Beacon Rail


First generation new DMU

Gold – Class 185 – TransPennine Express/Ardwick depot/Eversholt

Silver – Class 172 – Arriva Rail London/Willesden depot/Porterbrook

Bronze – Class 171 – Govia Thameslink Railway/Selhurst depot/Porterbrook & Eversholt


First generation new EMU

Gold – Class 350/3 – West Midlands Trains/King’s Heath depot/Angel Trains

Silver – Class 378/1 – Arriva Rail London/New Cross Gate depot/QW Rail Leasing

Bronze – Class 334 – ScotRail/Shields depot/Eversholt


Second generation new EMU

Gold – Class 379 – Greater Anglia/Ilford depot/Macquarie European Rail

Silver – Class 387/3 – c2c/East Ham depot/Porterbrook

Bronze – Class 345 – MTR Crossrail (TfL Rail)/Ilford & Old Oak Common depots/TfL funded

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

Posted in News


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