Network Rail recognised the achievements of its contractors and supply chain last night at the 2014 Partnership Awards, held on London’s south bank. Writes Nigel Wordsworth

The sixth annual Partnership Awards were introduced by chief executive Mark Carne, who said: “Everyone here tonight has made a difference to Network Rail and I’d like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude for everything you have done to help deliver a better railway for a better Britain.”

Awards were divided amongst 11 categories covering everything from Heritage to Sustainable Excellence and Best Small/Medium/Large Project. Companies were able to make submissions for as many or as few categories as they wished. These were then whittled down to a published shortlist by the judges and a winner – and usually one or two highly commended entries – chosen from those.

Mark Carne [online]

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne.

Comedian Ed Byrne entertained the guests, mainly with anecdotes about rail’s mortal enemy – the aviation industry. He then also presided over the awards themselves.

Some big names did well. Balfour Beatty Rail won two awards, for Safety and for Heritage, Carillion won Driving Efficiencies, which was nothing to do with train driving, andSpencer Rail won two – Best Large Project  and Best Collaboration along with Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Medway Council.

However, smaller concerns also had their time in the limelight. Capgemini UK won Best Use of Technology & Innovation for Linear Asset decision Support (LADS) with Dual Inventive highly commended, while Mission Room were Highly Commended for Safety.

At the end of the category awards came two more. A Special Award was presented by the MP for Newton Abbot, Anne Marie Morris, to the team that rebuilt the Dawlish Sea Wall and the Great Western main line to Cornwall. Tom Kikham, Andy Crowley, Rob Burr and Rob Allen were named individually, but the 300-strong ‘Orange Army’ received the award.  Quite a number went on stage to receive it.

Then it was time for the final award, the Supplier of the Year.  Mark Carne presented that one himself, and it went to the recipient of the Best Small Project award – Story Contracting.  A cheer went up, not only from the Story team present but from the room at large, showing that it was a popular choice.

As a large group of smiling Story faces walked to the stage for the presentation and photographs, the remaining guests were left to ponder that, for the second year running, Network Rail had chosen one of the middle-ground, companies which are sometimes principle contractors and sometimes sub-contractors, proving that the contributions from suppliers of all sizes are truly valued for the contribution that they make to the railway.



Category Company Project
Best Collaboration Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Spencer Rail and Medway Council
(highly commended East Midlands Trains and also Signalling Solutions)
East Kent resignalling phase 2
Best Project – Large Spencer Rail
(h/c Costain and Hochtief JV)
Network Rail Ipswich Chord
Best Project – Medium Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd
(h/c Capgemini UK)
Salford Crescent Railway Station
Best Project – Small Story Contracting
(h/c Crosscountry Trains)
Story Contracting and Network Rail: Merseyrail Slab Track Renewal
Best Use of Technology Capgemini UK plc
(h/c Dual Inventive)
Community Engagement Morgan Sindall
(h/c Colas Rail/Morgan Sindall JV and also Spencer Rail)
Haymarket station Capacity Improvement project
Driving Efficiencies Carillion Rail
(h/c AMCO Rail and also Siemens Rail Automation)
Southampton to Basingstoke W10 Gauge Clearance
Heritage Balfour Beatty Rail
(h/c Buckingham Group Contracting)
Masonry arch bridge strengthening using XiSPAN
Investing in People ScotRail
(h/c Carillion Rail and also Emergency planning College)
ScotRail – Investing in talent and skills
Safety Balfour Beatty Rail
(h/c Mission Room and ScotRail)
Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace Capacity Improvement Project
Sustainable Excellence ScotRail
(h/c Buckingham Group Contracting and also Signalling Solutions)
ScotRail’s energy reduction strategy

Special Award – Dawlish reconstruction