Dartmoor Line wins top innovation prize

The project to reopen the Exeter to Okehampton railway for passenger services has won the Major Project prize at the 2022 Railway Innovation Awards.

The awards, the longest standing scheme in the industry, are organised by the Modern Railways Fourth Friday Club in partnership with the Railway Industry Association. Prizes were awarded in eight categories (plus a special award) at a lunchtime ceremony held at the Hilton London Canary Wharf on 1 July, with trophies for the winners and certificates for Highly Commended entries. The guest speaker at the event was HS2 CEO Mark Thurston, who highlighted the work of the company's own innovation programme.

The Dartmoor Line project was a collaborative effort between Network Rail and Great Western Railway to reopen the Okehampton line. It was the first scheme to be delivered as part of the Government’s Restoring your Railway initiative and was also subject to the application of Project Speed principles, which meant the initial reopening was 21 months ahead of the original programme and more than £10 million cheaper than the business case submitted.

Highly commended certificates were presented to three shortlisted entries: the rebuilding of Bletchley Flyover for the East West Rail project, Midland main line electrification from Bedford to Corby, and the launch of Lumo’s new open access service on the East Coast main line.

In addition to the usual categories, the judges presented a Special Award for the UK Rail for Ukraine collaboration, which culminated in the running of a special train sending humanitarian aid to help those suffering and displaced by the conflict in Eastern Europe.
A full write-up of the awards will appear in the Rail Innovation supplement to the August 2022 issue of Modern Railways. The full list of winners is below.


Major Project

Winner: Dartmoor Line – Network Rail and GWR

Highly Commended: Bletchley Flyover – EWR Alliance; Midland main line electrification – SPL Powerlines; Launch of new open access service – Lumo

Cross Industry Partnership

Winner: West Midlands Rail Programme – West Midlands Rail Executive

Highly Commended: PANDAS-V – Transmission Dynamics; Hearing Enhanced Audio Relay – GoMedia

Engineering and Safety

Winner: High Precision Geofencing Wearables – Tended and Unipart Rail

Highly Commended: Composite Pantograph Horns – Network Rail; TPWS-Continued Supervision – Thales

Environment and Sustainability

Winner: East West Rail Environmental Mitigation – EWR Alliance

Highly Commended: Green Trains @COP26 – Network Rail, Porterbrook and Vivarail; HybridFLEX – Chiltern Railways and Porterbrook; Revolution Very Light Rail – Eversholt Rail and TDI

Operations and Performance

Winner: Performance Improvement Management System – Network Rail

Highly Commended: Understanding and Preventing Freight Derailments – RSSB; Rail Adhesion Solutions – Northern Trains

Passenger Experience

Winner: Journey Central – Whoosh and Grand Central

Highly Commended: Waymap – Arriva Rail London and Waymap; Highland Explorer – ScotRail

People, Skills and Diversity

Winner: Rail Wellbeing Live – Network Rail

Highly Commended: Different makes a Difference – Atkins; Station Information: British Sign Language – LB Foster

Small Scale Project

Winner: Decarbonisation and Electrification of Freight Terminals – Furrer+Frey

Highly Commended: Crown Point Bogie Drop – Mechan; Rail Demand Information System – RASIC

Special Award

UK Rail for Ukraine collaboration