The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has announced the winners of its Rail Industry Supplier Excellence (RISE) Awards which took place on the evening of Wednesday 4 November 2020, as part of RIA’s three-day virtual Annual Conference. The RISE Awards were open to all RIA members and aim to celebrate their contribution to the UK rail supply sector across a number of areas including: innovation; exports; environment and sustainability; safety and wellbeing; and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the Rail Industry Supplier Excellence Awards, all of whom show the very best of the rail supply sector in what has been a difficult 2020. We had a huge number of fantastic entries this year, showcasing all the wide-ranging and world-class work UK rail suppliers have managed to do in such exceptional circumstances. Well done to all.”

Presented by record producer and television personality Pete Waterman OBE, in his capacity as President of the Railway Benefit Fund, the winners include:

SME Growth in Rail Award – sponsored by Classone Systems

Joint Winners: 3Squared & Motion Rail

What the judges said about 3Squared: “The panel felt the entry from Sheffield-based 3Squared demonstrated the impressive strides they have made since 2002 in the development of digital apps for major clients in the rail and manufacturing sectors, and particularly noted their reach internationally as well as in the UK market.  3Squared have been part of the early movers helping to transition a largely paper-based sector towards the digital railway of the future through their Railsmart products, and the panel noted their collaborative approach and bespoke services they offer depending on the client, ensuring products are continually improving and updating.”

What the judges said about Motion Rail: “The panel felt the story of this SME’s growth was compelling and persuasive. The stats it conveyed showed the highest increase, comparatively, in staff and turnover, coupled with impressive deliverables, such as delivering the largest circuit immunisation programme on Network Rail’s infrastructure. However, it is the human dimensions and wider societal context, also brought to the fore within the application, that resonated powerfully with the panel.”

SEMP was highly commended.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award – sponsored by Siemens

Winner: Amey Consulting’s Rail Degree Apprenticeship Programme

What the judges said: “Amey Consulting collaborated with Sheffield Hallam University to develop the UK’s first Rail Degree Apprenticeship, providing an accessible route into the industry for the next generation of consulting engineers.  This is a great initiative that meets a massive need practically and offers options to those not looking for the traditional academic standard engineering degree route into rail.”

Safety and Wellbeing Award – sponsored by Knorr-Bremse

Winner: Atkins’ OLE Static Analysis Tool

What the judges said: “Using the New Measurement Train infrastructure, Atkins are collaborating with Network Rail’s North West and Central South route team, and Network Rail’s Accelerated Innovation team, as part of the Central Rail Systems Alliance (CRSA) and newly established SME Train Rail Infrastructure Solutions to develop the OLE Static Analysis Tool (OLE-StAT) – to carry out surveys remotely, creating significant workforce safety benefits. This will help NR achieve the target to reduce workforce near misses by 50% by removing the need to walk the track to carry out OLE surveys.”

Motion Rail was highly commended.

Environment and Sustainability Award – sponsored by Viper Innovations

Winner: Porterbrook for HydroFLEX

What the judges said: “Genuinely innovative and an excellent entry. Interesting to see what the future for this type of rolling stock will be but certainly a significant advancement and well deserving of recognition. A true vision of the future of rail travel and a great platform which we can develop and build for generations to come. A great innovation for our future.”

Unlocking Innovation Award – sponsored by Transmission Dynamics

Winner: Frazer Nash Consultancy – Rapid Evaluation and Planning Analysis Infrastructure for Railways (REPAIR)

What the judges said: “The judges felt this exemplifies the kind of innovation the industry needs, scoring highly for the degree of innovation, the value of the outcomes and successful collaboration with all four judges. Combining Hull University Logistics Institute’s comprehensive, detailed and integrated NR+ rail network database with defence market derived and cutting edge Machine Learning expertise from Frazer-Nash opens up the potential to vastly improve the planning and scheduling of freight services, as well as making optimum operational decisions. We particularly liked the approach of forming an advisory panel of stakeholders from across the freight industry to guide the development of the project.”

Collaboration Award – sponsored by Railtex / Infrarail

Winner: Siemens Mobility Joint submission with Porterbrook; West Midlands Trains; GB Railfreight – delivering medical supplies during lockdown

What the judges said: “This is a great example of genuine and rapid collaboration undertaken in a challenging time and environment. It’s a really good example of how cross industry collaboration worked together with difficult timescales to trial and prove a solution to help the greater good in a time of global pandemic”

Future Leader of the Year Award – sponsored by Schnieder Electric

Winner: David Westcough, Atkins

What the judges said: “David clearly represents an ideal mix of professionalism with an approachable personality which allows him not only to be effective in his own work but as a motivator of others, both inside and outside his employer’s organisation. His contribution to putting the best image of the industry forward as Chair of the YRP, his role on the IMechE young members committee and on organising successful study trips all point to a wider leadership contribution which should be recognised with this award.”

Client of the Year Award

Winner: Helen Simpson and Chandra Morbey – Innovation and Projects Director (job share), Porterbrook

The Client of the Year Award lets RIA members vote for a client who has gone “above and beyond” this year for the rail supply sector. The nomination said: “Chandra and Helen have led the way with innovative projects like Flex, HydroFlex and ElectroFlex. Always engaging and keen to work collaboratively with the supply chain.”

Special Award

Winner: Andrew Haines OBE, Chief Executive, Network Rail

The RIA Board gave out this ‘Special Award’ in recognition of Andrew Haines’ outstanding work, accessibility, supplier engagement, and leadership, during Coronavirus and what has been an extraordinary year and to thank him for his close collaboration with the rail supply industry over what has been a difficult year.