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iPort wins top innovation prize

Photo: Steve Freeman (left) and David Cross (right) from iPort Rail receive the Major Project trophy at the 2019 Railway Industry Innovation Awards from Modern Railways editor James Abbott. Tony Miles


The best innovations in the rail industry were in the spotlight at the annual Railway Industry Innovation Awards, held in London on 28 June.
The awards, the longest-standing within the industry, invite entries from firms in all areas of the industry across seven categories. Professor Clive Roberts from the Birmingham Centre of Railway Research and Education was guest of honour, and in his keynote speech he highlighted in particular the work of the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), for which BCRRE at the University of Birmingham is one of four centres of excellence, as well as the importance of making the industry an attractive place to work for young people.

The winners of the 2019 awards were as follows:

Major project

Winner: Verdion – iPort Rail

Highly commended: Network Rail – Brighton main line upgrade; Firstco – Heathrow tunnel control system


Winner: Vivarail – battery Class 230

Highly commended: Keltbray – Eco Village; Turbo Power Systems – APS units

Cross-industry partnership

Winner: Nexus Alpha – ARRAKIS

Highly commended: Porterbrook – Innovation Hub; GWR, Network Rail and Incremental Solutions – OLErt

Passenger experience

Winner: Tracsis – One Click to Claim

Highly commended: Northern – Visual Train Mapping; FAIRTIQ – FAIRTIQ ticketing system

Operations and performance

Winner: Viper Innovations – Cable Guardian

Highly commended: Schneider Electric – Compact PSP; 3Squared – Digitising management

Small scale project

Winner: Abtus and BCRRE – cyclic top trolley

Highly commended: SWR – station-based paramedics; LNER – seat sensors

Engineering and safety

Winner: Aecom – embankment stability monitoring

Highly commended: Angel Trains, DB ESG, Stratsys and Printing Portal – additive manufacturing; Siemens Mobility – Talk to me initiative


A full write-up of the awards will appear in the August 2019 issue of Modern Railways as part of our ‘Rail Evolution’ feature celebrating industry innovation.

Posted in News


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