Rail companies of all sizes came together to recognise the UK rail industry’s greatest achievements at the Rail Partnership Awards on 7 June.
Last held in 2015, the relaunched event was organised by Rail Media on behalf of Network Rail and provided the perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the supply chain’s outstanding work.
The resurgence of the ceremony comes at a time when an ever greater emphasis is being placed on nurturing partnerships between the public and private sector.
Difficult two weeks
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne touched on two recent issues – the death of a colleague at Bearsden station in Greater Glasgow and the May timetable change disruptions – during his evening speech and stressed how together the industry must work to ensure they do not happen again.
He said: “Together, tonight, we must resolve as leaders in our industry to learn the lessons from this tragedy and to make our mantra of everyone home safe every day a reality and not just an aspiration. We owe it to that young man, we owe it to the thousands of workers in our industry who look to our collective leadership.”
He added: “The last two weeks have also been very difficult for passengers on the network. As an industry, we did not fulfil the promises we made with the May timetable change. I’m not going to explore the reasons for this today, they are multiple, complex and interrelated across the whole industry.
“Just like in safety, small, isolated failings have combined in a way that has not delivered the performance that customers rightly expected of us. You have probably all heard me say over the last few years that my number one business philosophy is that safety and performance go hand in hand. When we work together in partnership, we can deliver outstanding safety performance and outstanding business performance.”
15 awards up for grabs
Hundreds turned out for the awards ceremony, which was compered by Pointless show host Alexander Armstrong at the Vox conference centre, Birmingham, hoping their company would bag one of 15 awards up for grabs.
The British Transport Police took home the top safety prize for its Incident Response Stretcher, which is designed to run on a rail track yet can be folded to fit into the boot of a car. The equipment was developed by folding bike manufacturer Kinetics following a physically demanding fatality in 2016 in which incident responders had to carry a deceased person in inclement weather over an extended distance to the nearest safe access point.
Elsewhere, Buckingham Group was rewarded for its proactive approach to company-wide staff learning and development by taking the Investing in People title. Amey, the first in the industry to gain Leaders in Diversity accreditation, was triumphant in the Diversity and Inclusion category and Rail Safety Solutions was named SME of the Year.
Story Rail’s Eden Brows repair works was labelled Best Small Project in a hotly contested category; Siemens’ Birmingham Phase 4&5 work as part of the Birmingham New Street renewals bagged Best Medium Project; and the REAL Alliance (Siemens, VolkerRail, J. Murphy & Sons, TSP and Jacobs) took home the Best Large Project for its work on the East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade.
The most coveted award of the evening – Supplier of the Year – was judged from the winners of each of the other 14 categories by Mark Carne and former Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme and was this year presented to Siemens.
Tom O’Connor, director of event organisers Rail Media, said: “What an honour it has been to bring back an awards ceremony that is held in such high esteem by the industry – and what an incredible night it was. All of the winners, highly commended, runners-up and shortlisted companies should be so proud of their achievements and be so proud of this industry we work in.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Collaboration – GWR and Network Rail (The Western Alliance)
Best Large Project – REAL Alliance (ECML Power Supply Upgrade)
Best Medium Project – Network Rail, Siemens, S&C Alliance South (Birmingham New Street Area Renewals)
Best Small Project – Story Contracting (Eden Brows Repair Works)
Best Use of Technology – Siemens Rail Automation, Network Rail (Thameslink High Capacity)
Community Engagement – Friends of Ally Pally station (Sleepers Awake)
Diversity and Inclusion – Amey (Creating Better Careers)
Driving Efficiencies – BCM Construction (ENABLE)
Investing in People – Buckingham Group Contracting (Company-wide Learning and Development Programme)
Preserving History – Galliford Try (Carlisle Station Roof Refurbishment)
Putting Passengers First – WSP (The Thameslink Programme)
Safety – The British Transport Police (Incident Response Stretcher)
Supplier of the Year – Siemens
SME of the Year – Rail Safety Solutions (Working in Partnership with Local Agencies)
Sustainable Excellence – Panasonic Business, AD Comms, PowerOasis (Off-grid Energy Solution, Worlaby)
For more information, head to the Rail Partnership Awards website: www.railpartnershipawards.com.