Press Release

RIA celebrates rail supply chain excellence with RISE Awards

5 November 2021

The winners of the 2021 Railway Industry Supplier Excellence (RISE) Awards have been announced, as the sector came together to celebrate the very best from across the rail supply chain.  

Award winners include:

  • Growth in Rail SME Award, sponsored by Siemens – Dura Composites and Xrail Group
  • Environmental Sustainability, sponsored by Ricardo Rail – Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group
  • Collaboration Award, sponsored by Railtex / Infrarail – Porterbrook
  • Safety and Wellbeing Award, sponsored by Alstom – Asset Insights
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award, sponsored by Bechtel – Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group
  • Unlocking Innovation Award, sponsored by Viper Innovations – One Big Circle
  • Future Leader Award, sponsored by mpro5 – Fi Westcough, Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group
  • Client of the Year Award, sponsored by RIA – Kris Kinnear, Network Rail Scotland

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: 

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Railway Industry Supplier Excellence Awards.

“Given the difficult year the country has faced, it is particularly important to pay tribute to the many rail suppliers who kept the UK rail network moving during the lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic, allowing key workers and resources to continue travelling around the country. The winners of these RISE Awards demonstrate the fantastic work of the sector, across exports, innovation, equality and diversity and much more, revealing an industry that is quickly bouncing back post pandemic.

“Thank you to all who supported the awards, including our judges from across the sector. Thank you to all those who entered this year’s awards. And well done once again to all the winners!”

The Winners

Growth in Rail SME Award - Dura Composites and XRail Group

Sponsored by Siemens

Judges Comments:

On Dura Composites:
“Dura Composite’s story shows how an established business breaks into the rail industry, overcoming the significant challenge of bringing a new product to rail, getting approval and winning business. The team at Dura have created a resilient business with a product that has carbon, weight and maintenance savings. They are an inspiration to smaller companies with new and innovative products looking to enter the rail market.”

On XRail Group:
“XRail’s growth is an inspirational story of how a smaller rail business can grow overseas - which they have done very successfully. They have also entered the rail industry in Spain, which is a more challenging area to grow into for overseas companies. Judges were especially impressed by their commitment to diversity, especially through their efforts to encourage more women to join the workforce in Saudi Arabia. They are an ambassador for small UK rail companies looking to grow domestically and overseas.”

Environmental Sustainability Award – Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group

Sponsored by Ricardo Rail
Judges Comments: “Atkins, working with HS2 Ltd, as an Engineering Delivery Partner, secured funding and led research and development in association with detection dog specialists Wagtail UK to progress the training of dogs to detect Great Crested Newts (GCN). GCN detection dogs Rocky and Arnie have been successfully deployed on two rail projects creating significant environmental, efficiency and safety benefits to the rail industry, demonstrating the value of developing sustainable alternative methodologies. The judges thought that this was an excellent way of using a natural resource to tackle an environmental challenge and really like the efficiency and simplicity.”

Collaboration Award - Porterbrook

Sponsored by Railtex / Infrarail
Judges Comments: “Judges said Hybridflex was a revolutionary solution to decarbonisation and one the industry needs to support.  A good example of collaboration to deliver on a much-needed change to reduce emissions and eliminate them in rural and station areas. It is delightful to see this example of the rail industry using expertise from existing proponents of forward-looking technologies and collaborating to implement them onto assets.”

Safety and Wellbeing Award - Asset Insights

Sponsored by Alstom
Judges Comments: “Asset Insights allows a user to intuitively track and record relevant possession management and work delivery plans data, in real time, removing any need for the multiple manual phone calls and emails which feature heavily in the existing process. The judges described this an important change that needed to be made. It’s innovative and introduces a new solution for a day-to-day issue that is scale-able, and beneficial for passengers and all users.”

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award - Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group

Sponsored by Bechtel
Judges Comments: “A highly comprehensive submission showcasing an excellent series of EDI initiatives across the business. Some thoughtful and evidently valuable initiatives that the industry can learn from. A cohesive strategy with demonstrable benefits to the business and its workforce.”

Unlocking Innovation Award - One Big Circle

Sponsored by Viper Innovations
Judges Comments: “Judges thought the entry highlighted a challenge, an elegant solution, and the tangible benefits that it delivers in terms of hours saved, and increasing numbers of users, now standing at an impressive 1500+. It’s a unique and very good solution, used in different programmes around the industry and across multiple projects.”

Future Leader Award - Fi Westcough, Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group

Sponsored by mpro5
Judges Comments: “Taking on challenging projects early on in her career, judges thought Fi is an inspirational young rail professional. The video she submitted demonstrates how she goes above and beyond what's expected of her on a frequent basis. The industry can be very proud to have such a great rising star in the fold. Judges have no doubt Fi will do all she can to create the next generation of engineers, particularly female engineers. The rail industry needs more young leaders like her to get involved.”

Client of the Year Award - Kris Kinnear, Network Rail Scotland

Judges Comments: “For his exemplary leadership and empowerment, Kris works with suppliers to create a truly integrated team, where you cannot tell who works for which organisation. Those who have worked with him say he ensures we are all committed to the same goal and everyone in the team has the success of the programme at the heart of their decision making.”
Notes to Editors


  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).

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