The Rail Alliance was delighted to once again host the Rail Live Dinner and welcomed over 260 guests, including Steve Featherstone and his team from Network Rail who announced the winners of this year’s Rail Live Plant Awards.

The evening brought together the rail industry to celebrate and commend the achievements of outstanding companies in the rail plant supply chain that have demonstrated excellence in the delivery of products and services to the industry. The Network Rail Plant Awards are now a major highlight of the event and offers suppliers and individuals a unique opportunity to be truly recognised against real and measured attributes of excellence.






Steve Featherstone, Programme Director Track, Network Rail said: “ This was the 10th Rail Live. The first one was in the car park at Westwood with about £40,000 of kit on show. Nowadays we have about £0.5billion of kit on show. Rail Live is where the people with solutions get together with the people with problems which all adds value to Network Rail as the client. We also had the 5th annual Network Rail plant awards. There were 10 award categories celebrating excellence, best practice and innovation.

The awards are an opportunity to recognise those individuals and companies really making a difference.  Working closely with the plant supply chain we have reduced plant failures by about 60% which has significantly contributed to reducing overruns and improving delivery over the last few years. Day 1 of Rail Live, including the Plant Awards, is my favourite day of the working year. “






Congratulations to all the 2018 Annual Network Rail Plant Awards nominees and winners:


Plant Safety Champion

Having a strong safety culture is Network Rails number one priority and one which is supported throughout the supply chain.  This award is to recognise the organisation that has collaborated with Network Rail to deliver and openly share operational solutions with plant that improves the safety of our workforce.

Nominees:         Hilti, A.P. Webb Plant Hire, Selectequip

Winner: Hilti–  where dust suppression is a key safety factor to improve air quality and visibility, this award recognises the Hilti Battery Drill adapted to drill concrete with a hollow drill and integrated vacuum.  Not only does this improve the working conditions for the operator and those in the vicinity, it also improves efficiency leaving clean holes for applying resin to secure anchors.




Share With Pride Champion

Within Network Rail we like to share our successes and failures so that others can benefit from the best way of doing something or the lessons we learn when something goes wrong.  We encourage our Suppliers to support this initiative which has generated some valuable insight into where further improvements can be made.  In recognition of their contributions, the below Suppliers are nominated:

Nominees:         Story Contracting – Uncontrolled Trailer Movement, Story Contracting – Uncontrolled Movement of Encgon Tiltrotator, Shovlin Plant Hire – RCI Failure

Winner: Story Contracting – One of a number of transferable shares, the investigation and subsequent corrective actions implemented and shared by Story to prevent RRV trailer braking failures demonstrates the value of sharing failure investigations and the subsequent lessons that can be learnt.  As an example of the close relationship between safety and performance, this share demonstrated a mature approach in helping to prevent a repeat across other Suppliers.



Best Supporting Organisation in 2017/18

We recognise how competitive the Supplier market is and the importance to deliver a strong customer focus.  This award recognises organisations which have built a reputation for supporting the Client working collaboratively to ensure the work gets done.

Nominees:         McCulloch Rail, Quattro Plant, Van Elle

Winner: Quattro Plant is one of the largest rail plant supplies to the industry. Great collaboration with their clients ensures that the correct plant is delivered first time to site for the works. Having 12 established depots thought out the country with highly experienced personal has made Quattro Plant extremely reactive to dealing with any last minute or emergency requirements made by their clients.




Plant Engineer of the Year Award 2017/18

As with any organisation, positive outcomes are the result of team work however this award is to recognise where individuals really do make a difference in leading their teams to drive forward engineering performance.

Nominees:         Carl Jones – G.O.S. Engineering, David Turner – TXM Plant, James Haile – Story Contracting

Winner: James Haile from Story Contracting – With one of the largest RRV fleets, this award recognises James’ energy and engineering focus across all three depots to create a culture of continuous improvement and attention to detail.  Achieving the Gold status in the Route to Gold Award is in large part to the way James has led his teams to deliver plant reliability.




Most Innovative Small Plant

Innovation drives continuous improvement but also carries investment risk and so this award is to recognise the value of new products supplied to the market that will deliver benefits in terms of reliability, safety and performance.

Nominees:         Stobart Rail/GOS Engineering – Self Propelled Jacking Tamper, Robel – Rail Profile Grinder, PLARAD – Torque Setting Drill

Winner: Robel – This award recognises how collaboration between Supplier and Client to develop product improvement and manage risk has been successful with the Robel Rail Profile Grinder.  To replace the aging fleet across Network Operations, the new grinder uses lightweight alloys, modular components for ease of repair and ergonomic design for ease of operation.




Most Innovative RRV Product

This award is dedicated to new products that offer a step change in performance and demonstrate tangible benefits in areas such as machine capability and work environment safety.

Nominees:         Rail-Ability – RCI, Rail-Ability – 60ft Rail Beam, Stobart Rail – Rail Trailer Grease Distribution System

Winner: Rail Ability has pushed forward with challenging the ability to undertake Tandem lifting 60ft concrete sleeper track panels. The consist of using two Rail-Ability RailMax RRV’s and the 60ft rail lifting beam has demonstrated that this operation can now safely be achieved. The unique design enables both RRVs to communicate to each so the RRV’s do work in tandem adding that extra safety measure.




Continuous Improvement Award

By working closely with Plant Suppliers, the Plant Reliability Team has captured evidence where improvements are observed.  This award reflects the Supplier who is at the forefront of developing, implementing and then benefiting from improved equipment, people skills and procedures.

Nominees:         Stobart Rail, Story Contracting, Shovlin Plant Hire

Winner: Story Contracting – the high level of engagement and transparency provided to the Plant Reliability Team by Story Contracting has demonstrated a culture for continuous improvement.  Failure events are followed up robustly with clear corrective actions and preventative measures.  There is a collective approach across the workforce to focus on doing the basic things right with staff engaged in the change processes for improvements.




OTM supplier demonstrating operational excellence

Displays consistent strong delivery, support for difficult work and solutions developed, strong reliability and who drives continuous improvement.

Nominees:         Balfour Beatty, Colas Rail, Swietelsky Babcock, Volker Rail

Winner: Colas Rail’s OTM division has continued to deliver high levels of performance over the last year through a collaborative and flexible approach. Demonstrating their commitment to advancing the OTM service in the UK; they have trialled a number of technologies and adopted them into their fleet at their own cost including installation of System 7 tamping banks, work area cameras and tamping tyne Laser guidance. Network Rail look forward to a continuing strong relationship with Colas during the new 7 year contract.



Best Performing Small Plant Supplier

This award is to recognise the Supplier who has delivered the most reliable shift performance as measured by the Network Rail Plant Performance System.  The performance is also reflected in the consistent service level provided across the network and the level of engagement and contribution to deliver improved plant reliability through investment in plant, processes and skilled workforce.

Nominees:         A-Plant, Speedy Hire, Torrent Trackside

Winner: Torrent Trackside – as measured through the Network Rail Route to Gold programme, Torrent has now achieved Silver.  This is in recognition for continuing strong plant reliability, improvement through failure investigations and implementing and sharing the lessons learnt.




Best Performing RRV Supplier

A key measure in determining the Supplier performance is the proportion of shifts where no failures occur.  This builds confidence with Clients and develops a positive image for the Supplier.  Being able to measure this through the Network Rail Plant Performance System allows us to identify the top 3 performing Suppliers.

Nominees:         A.P. Webb Plant Hire, Story Contracting, Shovlin Plant Hire

Winner: A.P. Webb has gone from strength to strength in Network Rails Route to Gold programme being one of the first Plant Suppliers to achieve Gold.  Throughout the recorded matrix in Rail PPS, A.P. Webb have set a very high score and with the detail going into FRACAS reports this gives their client great piece of mind knowing the high reliability of the plant arriving on their work-sites. A.P. Webb has always been the supplier at the forefront of developing new technologies and innovations within plant to for fill their client’s requirements.



All proceeds from the evening went to the Railway Children and a magnificent £10,000 was raised from donations on the evening and contributions from ticket sales.  A big thank you to everyone who attended and for their generosity and to Shannon Rail for sponsoring the event.