Three wins at National Rail Awards 2017

Thursday night was cause for celebration as Network Rail was presented with three prizes at this year’s National Rail Awards, during a ceremony held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Additionally, the following teams were highly commended:

  • Infrastructure Achievement of the Year: Christmas work for the Crossrail programme
  • Major Station of the Year: Glasgow Central and Manchester Piccadilly
  • Major Project of the Year: Cardiff area resignalling renewal project and Stafford area improvement programme

(Pictures courtesy of Richard Clinnick at RAIL magazine, and freelance photographer/writer, Paul Bigland)


High Output Ballast Cleaning System


High Output Ballast Cleaning System

High Output Ballast Cleaning System

With our modern ballast cleaner systems there’s a significant reduction in the need for railway workers to be on the track while the work takes place – most operations are controlled from inside the cabs, so this limits exposure to the dangers of diesel fumes, ballast dust and passing trains.

At half-a-mile long, our ballast cleaning trains include: locomotives each end to move the train to and from the work site in traffic up to 60mph; power cars to propel the train while in operation; 22 empty wagons for ballast waste; the ballast cleaner; the tamper/dynamic track stabiliser (DTS) machines, and 22 wagons full of new ballast.

By recycling the ballast, this is a more environmentally friendly alternative to previous ballast cleaners.



Right Time Right Pathway

The project was designed to improve performance of an extremely complex part of the railway - the East London Line, which had a dependence on the Sydenham corridor to deliver trains into the core section on time.

Judges were impressed by the extent to which there was behavioural change. Performance changes demonstrated clearly the benefits of the scheme through a 5% contribution to a 9% Public Performance Measurement improvement.


This was achieved with many fewer controller interventions, and a significant reduction in regulation errors as the instructions for signallers had been significantly simplified.

Richard Clinnick, assistant editor, RAIL magazine

125 mph handback at Sandy South

Two Dynamic Track Stabilisation (DTS) machines were used in parallel during a world first at Sandy South and the high hand back speed has not been matched anywhere in Europe.

The works were delivered to time, and to budget, with a first class safety record. They saved more than £700,000 in schedule 8 compensation payments too.


...Having achieved the 125mph handback speed and identified the significant business benefits the whole process also allows for a better understanding of possession lengths/hand back speeds. What this means, in essence, it shows what is the best business decision.

Richard Clinnick, assistant editor, RAIL magazine

Organised by RAIL magazine and billed as the most important networking event in the rail industry's calendar the National Rail Awards were presented on Thursday 21 September at a top London venue in front of an audience of over a 1000.