The SmartRail Europe Innovation Awards 2016, a continent-wide search for the best new product and project, has announced its shortlist following an extensive judging process from a panel representing a cross-section of the European rail industry. The awards have two categories focusing on products and projects, and winners will be announced on Tuesday 19 April at SmartRail Europe in Amsterdam.

The Product Innovation of the Year award identifies the best and most innovative products in the rail and metro industry. Hardware or software, it can be a new product, an update of an existing solution or an improved way of utilising current technology that will improve our industry. The focus can be large or small but the product and the improvement it makes is the important factor.

The Product Innovation of the Year shortlist includes:

  • Cubic & Abellio: A world first – ‘video ticket office’ NextAgent™ at Stansted Airport
  • EAMS Group: Metro Mobile App for Signals Maintenance at London Underground
  • Virgin Trains: Automatic Delay Repay (ADR)

The Project of the Year award recognises new developments and ways of thinking in improving and increasing efficiency in rail and metro project delivery and management. With a particular focus on projects that have helped deliver a safer, more reliable transit network, increased capacity, boosted ridership or improved passenger experience.

The Project of the Year shortlist:

  • Appear Networks: ‘UPPSAMT’, or simply ‘Connected2Rail’
  • NedTrain: The HealthMeter project
  • Virgin Trains: New customer information screens for Euston Station

Speaking about the shortlist announcement, one of the judges, Oliver Drewes, Director European Union Liaison Office at Dutch National Rail Operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS): "Only through smart innovation, such as provided by the Smart Rail Europe Innovation award winning participants, the rail sector can reinvent itself time and again and remain fit for its ultimate purpose: moving people and goods timely, sustainably and efficiently around in an ever more interconnected world."

Chair of the judges, Luke Upton, Editor of SmartRail World added: "It’s been fantastic to see such a variety of entries this year, from large-scale global projects, to small focused products aiming to improve a single aspect of a passenger’s journey. The rail industry used to be considered a conservative one, and the award entries really underline that this is no longer the case."

The Judging Panel will include Oliver Drewes, (Director European Union Liaison Office, NS), Ernst Kleine (EUG Lead Engineer, ERTMS User Group), David Clarke (Rail Technology Innovator, RTI), Jim Baker, (CEO, Xentrans), Cormac Rabbitt (Managing Director, Metro Dublin) and Luke Upton (Editor, SmartRail World).