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Who are the winners of the SmartRail World Innovation Awards 2018?

Posted by Luke Upton on Apr 19, 2018

"SmartRail Awards Winners 2018...while winning the SmartRail World Innovation Award for the Project of the Year is the icing on the cake."

Among the many highlights of SmartRail 2018 this week in Amsterdam were the awarding of our SmartRail World Innovation Awards 2018. Now in its fourth year, previous winners include Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), Abellio, Virgin Trains, Network Rail, Masabi and RADWIN and more. After a two month process, our panel of independent industry expert judges carefully deliberated and decided our shortlist and winners. We received a varied range of submissions from around the world, with entries including tech to spot wheel issues before they become a problem, interactive advertising displays for train stations, a project delivering huge increases in frequency and many more. So who took the awards home from Amsterdam? 

Operational Performance Innovation of the Year

3rd PLACE – IMSAT - A system for railway point machine fault detection (More here). 

2nd PLACE - SKF Insight Rail ( @SKFgroup ) condition monitoring system for smart and flexible maintenance ( More here )

WINNER - Galgus ( @galgus_  ) Distributed, self-optimized, multiplatform, cognitive software for maximizing the performance and operation of on-board Wi-Fi networks. ( More here )

Speaking at the awards, Pedro Garcia, Head of Marketing at Galgus:

“For Galgus, being named winners of the SmartRail Innovation Awards 2018 represents a huge support to what we’ve been developing to improve on board connectivity in the raileay sector. The path is always difficult, but when you receive such a prestigious award, maybe this confirm that this path might be the correct one.

We would like also to mention the other two finalists, SKF and IMSAT. Their proposals were excellent and also worthy of all recognition. For us, seeing ourselves together with companies that are today where we would like to be in the future is already an award itself. Finally, great job by the organizing committee and members of the jury. Promoting this type of awards is a great help and support for those who believe that there is still room for improvement in the railway sector.”

Passenger Innovation of the Year

3rd PLACE - Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS - ( @NS_online )Planner AppMore here )

2nd PLACE - Intersection@intersection_co )IxNConnect ( More here )

WINNER - Go-Ahead Group@TheGoAheadGroup )Auto Delay Repay ( More here )

On receiving the Award, Craig Ellis, Chief Technology Officer of Go-Ahead Group:

“We are delighted to have won the Passenger Innovation of the Year Award at SmartRail 2018. Our delay repay solution has been designed to put customer convenience and customer control at the heart of the journey. We introduced Delay Replay across the Govia Thameslink network in September 2017 and passengers using our thekey smartcard, who are delayed for fifteen minutes or more they automatically receive a delay repay claim notification via an email or on their online account. The passengers can then review their claim and choose their preferred payment options to receive reimbursement for their delayed journey without any hassle. Many thanks to the organisers of the SmartRail conference and the awards and congratulations also to the fellow winners.”

Project of the Year

3rd PLACE - Metro Tenerife – SIMOVEMore here )

2nd PLACE - Infrabel ( @Infrabel ) - Smart Railway Project ( More here )

WINNER - Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)@NS_online ) and Prorail ( @ProRail ) - 10 Minute Intercity frequency between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. ( More here )

Erik Sigger, head of the Performance Management and Innovation department at NS, after winning the award:

“NS and Prorail are very honored to receive this award. We are proud that our close collaboration has led to this great achievement. Through solid logistical planning, smart and effective innovations and a stellar performance of our train staff, the accessibility of the major cities of the country is vastly improved. For us, the high rise in the number of passengers and their increased satisfaction with our service was the real award, while winning the SmartRail World Innovation Award for the Project of the Year is the icing on the cake. It is an additional incentive to extend this high quality, high volume service to other major corridors.”

SmartRail World Story of the Year 

3rd PLACE - The digital railway gathers pace as SNCF enlist IBM's Watson supercomputer. ( Read full story )

2nd PLACE - London Bridge station a "shining example" as it fully reopens after £1 billion. ( Read full story )

WINNER – Plan your next Easter break with Eurostar on the new London-Amsterdam line! ( Read full story )

Giles Harris, Business Lead Amsterdam service for Eurostar @Eurostar ) told us;

“It’s great news to be awarded SmartRail World’s ‘Story of the Year’. The new service is a historic milestone for international high-speed rail, connecting the UK to the Netherlands in just three hours with a comfortable, environmentally friendly alternative to the airlines. We’ve had a lot of enthusiasm around the new route, and as our new destinations of Rotterdam and Amsterdam become increasingly popular as business and tourism destinations, there is a lot of potential for the new route.”

We'd like to thanks our panel of judges; Piia Karjalainen, Senior Manager, MaaS Alliance, Freek Bos, Board Member, European Passengers’ Federation, Armand Toubol, Vice President, New Opera, Ben Craze, CEO & Co-Founder, Infinitive Group - Managing Director, Infinitive Engineering & Technology, Valentina Ion, Director Government Industry EMEA - Microsoft at Microsoft Corporation.

One of our judging panel, Armand Toubol, Vice President, New Opera, commented on the process; “In each category all the projects submitted were very interesting, making the choice very difficult. In a world where digitalisation is progressing extremely rapidly, efficient solutions for an increase in safety, reliability and competitiveness are of utmost importance. In the passenger field facilitating the customer travel in whatever situation is a great factor of attractiveness. And in large projects the new possibilities offered by digitalisation to improve infrastructure and train management will be of great importance in the near future.”

Awards convener, Luke Upton, Editor of SmartRail World added; “It has once again been a pleasure to see the variety, energy and innovation displayed in our entries. We make a point of encouraging companies of all sizes to submit their innovations, and we’ve certainly see that this year. The voting was very close, with only a few points separating each entry. I'd like to thank all our entries and for our esteemed panel of judges for the time and energy.”

Our worthy winners received their trophies on the first day of our very successful SmartRail conference hosted at Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam on 17th April 2018.

You may also be interested in... 

Smart Asset Management For A More Efficient Rail NetworkRead: 12 Expert Insights from Day One of SmartRail 2018.

Read: 12 Expert Insights from Day Two of SmartRail 2018 

Download: New Frontiers in Transport Ticketing 

Read: Recycling: are rail companies really doing enough? 

Read: Tesla’s Musk predicts “economic suicide” for rail… with a solar-powered truck. 


Topics: projects

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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