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UK: Great Western Railway’s repurposed Castle Class trains, a virtual reality safety education project and Greater Anglia’s bi-mode trains with a retractable step for level boarding are among the 15 category winners in this year’s Rail Business Awards, organised and hosted by the Railway Gazette Group.

Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, organisations across the UK rail sector have continued to deliver excellence in performance, quality and innovation. No fewer than 40 different entrants were shortlisted by the panel of independent judges.

Owing to the pandemic, the 23rd Rail Business Awards are being presented virtually via the Rail Business UK website. The People awards were announced on February 22, Products & Engineering on February 23 and Operations on February 24. The ultimate accolade of Rail Business of the Year will be revealed at 12.00 GMT on February 25.

‘The past year has demonstrated once again that people are the backbone of the rail sector’, commented Railway Gazette Group Editor-in-Chief Chris Jackson. ‘From the back office to the front line, countless thousands of individuals have been working day-in-day out under extraordinary conditions to deliver an efficient railway and the best possible service to its customers. I was really disappointed that we could not meet in person for our regular gala dinner, yet it is important to continue recognising excellence in all fields. We had some really excellent submissions.’

Rail Business of the Year

Premieres at 12.00 GMT

People awards

Diversity in Rail

Winner: Angie Doll, Managing Director of Southern and Gatwick Express

Highly Commended: Atkins Neurodiversity Network

Education & Training Excellence

Winner: Motion - Motion Reality

Highly commended: Big Button - RSSB RED

PM Training and Assessing Ltd - Technical Training Bus

Richard Hope Award

(outstanding personal contribution)

Winner: Gemma Platt - GB Railfreight

Highly Commended: Najla Almutairi - Southern Railway

Joe Healy - Thameslink

Young Professional of the Year

Winner: Jason Kairouz - Balfour Beatty

Highly Commended: David Westcough - Atkins

Matthew Taylor - Balfour Beatty

Industry Leader

Winner: John Cox - VolkerFitzpatrick

Products & Engineering awards

Infrastructure Project Excellence

Winner: Atkins & Network Rail - Norwich, Yarmouth and Lowestoft Re-Signalling Project

Rolling Stock Excellence

Winner: GWR - Repurposing HSTs into Castles

Supplier & Contractor Excellence

Winner: 3Squared – rail operator

Highly Commended: Angel Trains & DB ESG - applying 3D printing through a cross-industry partnership

Sustainability & Environmental Excellence

Winner: South Western Railway, Porterbrook and Eminox - Cleaning up diesel trains

Technical Innovation of the Year

Winner: LNER and Revenue Analytics - Revenue Optimisation Solution Engine

Highly Commended: Network Rail Southern Region - IRIS investigations and assurance system

Tram Operations Ltd - Physical Prevention of Over Speeding

Operations awards

Accessibility & Integrated Transport Excellence

Winner: Greater Anglia - New low-floor bi-mode train with retractable step

Customer Service Excellence

Winner: South Western Railway & Network Rail Wessex - Trespass and Welfare Officers

Marketing & Communications Excellence

Winner: GWR - That’s EnterTrainment

Highly Commended: LNER - Transforming Travel, for the launch of the Azuma trains

Rail Freight & Logistics Excellence

Winner: DB Cargo UK & Maritime Transport - Intermodal Partnership

Highly Commended: iPort Rail

Train Operator of the Year

Winner: Greater Anglia