Spanners celebrate most reliable fleets

More than 300 representatives from across the industry gathered in London for the annual Golden Spanner Awards, which returned to an in-person format after a virtual event last year.

The Spanners is the annual event at which the rolling stock sector meets to celebrate improvements in train maintenance practices and reliability. The day kicked off with a morning conference on topical rolling stock issues, before guests enjoyed a sit-down lunch. After-lunch speaker Bill Reeve, Director of Rail at Transport Scotland reflected on experience from north of the border and challenge the rolling stock community to deliver improvements, before Modern Railways Industry and Technology Editor Roger Ford revealed the winners of the Golden Spanners.

Three categories of trophy are awarded: Gold for best in class, Silver for most improved over the last year, and Bronze for the fastest average recovery time following an incident. Figures are calculated using Miles per Technical Incident (MTIN) Moving Annual Average data, a TIN being recorded where a train is stopped for three minutes or more due to a rolling stock issue. Trains are broken down into categories based on age and type.

This year’s winners are listed below – Roger Ford’s full fleet reliability review will appear in the January 2022 issue of Modern Railways, on sale just before Christmas, and online at


Gold: South Western Railway Class 159/0 (Salisbury Depot; BREL/Cummins/Voith; Porterbrook)

Silver: Northern Class 156 (Newton Heath & Heaton Depots; Metro-Cammell/Cummins/Voith; Angel Trains & Porterbrook)

Bronze: Great Western Railway Class 165/1 (St Philip’s Marsh/Reading Depots; BREL/Perkins/Voith; Angel Trains)


Gold: South Western Railway Class 455 (Wimbledon Depot; BREL/Gemini Rail Technology; Porterbrook)

Silver: South Western Railway Class 456 (Wimbledon Depot; BREL/English Electric; Porterbrook)

Bronze: ScotRail Class 320 (Shields Road Depot; BREL/Brush; Eversholt Rail)

Most reliable HST

Gold: Great Western Railway IC125 ‘Castle Class’ (Laira Depot; BREL/Brush/MTU; Angel Trains/First)

1st Generation new inter-city

Gold: East Midlands Railway Class 222 (Etches Park Depot; Bombardier/Cummins/Alstom; Eversholt Rail)

Silver: CrossCountry Class 220/221 (Central Rivers Depot; Bombardier/Cummins/Alstom; Beacon Rail)

Bronze: Grand Central Class 180 (Heaton Depot; Alstom/Cummins/Voith; Angel Trains)

2nd Generation new inter-city

Gold: LNER Class 801 (Doncaster/Bounds Green/Craigentinny Depots; Hitachi; Agility Trains East)

Silver: TransPennine Express Class 802 (Craigentinny & Doncaster Depots; Hitachi/MTU; Angel Trains)

Bronze: TransPennine Express Class 397 (Manchester Traincare Centre (Alstom); CAF; Eversholt Rail)

1st Generation new DMU

Gold: TransPennine Express Class 185 (Ardwick Depot; Siemens/Cummins/Voith; Eversholt Rail)

Silver: TfW Rail Class 170 (Cardiff Canton Depot; Bombardier/MTU; Porterbrook)

Bronze: ScotRail Class 170 (Haymarket Depot; Bombardier/MTU; Porterbrook)

2nd Generation new DMU

Gold: Greater Anglia Class 755/3 (Crown Point Depot; Stadler/Deutz; Rock Rail)

Silver: Greater Anglia Class 755/4 (Crown Point Depot; Stadler/Deutz; Rock Rail)

Bronze: Northern Class 195/1 (Newton Heath Depot; CAF/MTU/ZF; Eversholt Rail)

1st Generation new EMU

Gold: West Midlands Trains Class 350/3 (Kings Heath Depot; Siemens; Angel Trains)

Silver: West Midlands Trains Class 350/1 (Kings Heath Depot; Siemens; Angel Trains)

Bronze: ScotRail Class 334 (Shields Road Depot; Alstom; Eversholt Rail)

2nd Generation new EMU

Gold: c2c Class 387 (East Ham Depot; Alstom (Bombardier); Porterbrook)

Silver: Northern Class 331/1 (Neville Hill Depot; CAF/Traction Systems Austria; Eversholt Rail)

Bronze: ScotRail Class 380 (Shields Road Depot; Siemens; Eversholt Rail)