Outstanding innovations rewarded

The best innovations in the rail industry were in the spotlight at the annual Railway Industry Innovation Awards, held in London on 23 June.

The awards, the longest-standing within the industry, invite entries from firms in all areas of the industry across seven categories. Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, was guest of honour and keynote speaker at the 2017 ceremony, and used his speech to highlight the importance of innovations in improving the passenger experience.

The winners of the 2017 awards were as follows:

Winner – Freyssinet, ElevArch bridge raising system
Highly commended – Vivarail, battery D train; Turbo Power Systems, static converter for Mk 3 carriages

Cross-industry partnership
Winner – Atkins, Carillion Buckingham joint venture, Chiltern Railways, Network Rail, RSK and Siemens, East West Rail project
Highly commended – Unipart Rail and VolkerRail, Overhead line equipment facilities; Bombardier, CrossCountry, Virgin Trains and Voyager Leasing, 58th Voyager trainset

Passenger experience
Winner – SilverRail, account-based travel
Highly commended – London Midland, Icomera, Whoosh, VCCP, Motion infotainment system; Parkeon, IRIS video ticket vending machines

Judges’ special award for Wi-Fi innovation – Nomad Digital, live broadcast TV

Operations and performance
Winner – Tracsis, TRACS enterprise resource management and planning system
Highly commended – Multipulse, GSM-R driver simulator; Incremental Solutions, Sentinel live fleet management system

Small scale project
Winner – Virgin Trains East Coast, Explorer app
Highly commended – SNC-Lavalin, Signal Sighting Form Tool; Amco, Liverpool Central tunnel high level neck

Engineering and safety
Winner – Porterbrook, Greater Anglia and partners, Class 156 wheel slide protection fitment
Highly commended – Keltbray Rail, Zeck wiring machine; Atkins, digitally enabling electrification

Major project
Winner – Northern Hub Alliance, Ordsall Chord

A full write-up of the awards will appear in the August 2017 issue of Modern Railways.

Me 262 rejoins Cosford’s German aircraft collection


One of the most advanced fighter aircraft of World War Two, the Messerschmitt Me 262, has been transported by road to its new home at the RAF Museum Cosford.  This particular aircraft, Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe can already be seen by members of the public within one of the museum’s display hangars.

The 262 is returning to Cosford after 14 years on display at the RAF Museum London.  Prior to the move the aircraft was dismantled by Museum Technicians and Apprentices.

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said: “The first Messerschmitt Me 262’s entered service in the autumn of 1944, as the first turbojet fighter to do so it heralded a new era in aerial warfare and represented a step change in technology.  Today very few original examples survive so we are delighted to present this significant aircraft to our visitors at Cosford.”

 The aircraft moves come as the museum prepares for the RAF’s centenary celebrations in 2018 that will see the museum transform its London site with a series of new permanent exhibitions opening in the summer of 2018. The multi-million pound development programme will see investments in new exhibitions, improved education and volunteering opportunities, and landscaping that will emphasise the site’s importance as a heritage airfield.

The museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm and entry is free.  For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford


Leonardo signs over €100M worth of contracts to maintain German and Spanish Typhoon fleet avionics

Leonardo has signed contracts worth more than 100 million Euros with Airbus to provide avionics maintenance for both German and Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon fleets.

The company has said that these contracts will cover all repairs estimated to arise in the next five years. The service covers all equipment, directly or indirectly, where Leonardo is the design authority. This includes the majority of the Typhoon’s avionic suite including the radar, IRST sensor and defensive aids suite.

The five year contracts will see Leonardo supporting the Spanish Ejército del Aire and German Luftwaffe Typhoon jets in partnership with Airbus and Eurofighter. The contracts with Germany and Spain follow the establishment of arrangements tailored to Typhoon partner nations Italy and the UK.