Tarmac has been named as Business of the Year at the annual Rail Freight Group Awards, which were held on 9 September at the De Vere Latimer Hotel near Chesham in Buckinghamshire.
The judges admitted that Tarmac, which supplies construction materials, is not the most obvious choice to win a rail freight award as it is a customer rather than supplier in the rail freight industry. But they explained “it is as committed to the growth and expansion of rail freight as any of the rest of us. It invests in innovative technology, new wagons and rail-linked facilities.
“It works across the construction industry to encourage others to use rail – and it provides a clear voice in rail industry organisations and bodies. It leads by example – such as its involvement with the University of Derby in the project ‘Opportunities for decarbonising freight’ and its work to help remove obstacles to the introduction of jumbo trains. And, afterall, where would we be without customers like this?”
Network Rail won Rail Freight Project of the Year for its Southampton Freight Train Lengthening scheme which the judges said “has significant long-term benefits for both FOCs and rail freight customers”.
Two special Covid Hero Awards were added this year to recognise the huge contribution made by the rail freight industry to keep goods moving through the pandemic. PD Ports won the Covid Hero Company Award, and Vittorio Licata of GB Railfreight won the Covid Hero Individual Award.
ABP and DB Cargo won the Customer Care Award for re-establishing an automotive railhead to ensure an important traffic flow did not switch to road. The Innovation & Technical Development Award was given to Cemex for its 3D modelling software that maximised each train load coming out of its Dove Holes Quarry.
Heather Waugh of Freightliner won Outstanding Individual Contribution, recognising her work in encouraging more women to consider rail freight as a career and her tireless campaigning for greater mental health awareness.
Maggie Simpson OBE, RFG Director General, said: “Despite the huge challenges over the past 18 months, the rail freight sector has done what it does best – get on with delivering to meet our customers’ needs. Our awards are the opportunity to highlight those successes and the individuals and companies going the extra mile to drive growth and excellence. We have been delighted with the record number of entries this year, and many congratulations to all the brilliant winners and runners up.”
The awards were sponsored by Burges Salmon and GB Railfreight. A raffle for Railway Benefit Fund raised £2,640.
The full list of awards:
Company of the Year
Rail Freight Project of the Year
Winner: Network Rail
Runner Up: Maritime Transport
Runner Up: EKFB, Fishbone Solutions, DB Cargo, Hanson, Network Rail, Mendip Rail
Winner: ABP and DB Cargo UK
Runner Up: Direct Rail Services (DRS)
Community and Environmental Responsibility
Runner Up: Tarmac
Innovation & Technical Development
Runner Up: VTG Rail
Outstanding Individual Contribution
Winner: Heather Waugh, Freightliner
Runner Up: Steve Wilkinson, DB Cargo
Young Rail Freight Professional
Winner: Andrew Burton, Direct Rail Services
Runner Up: Jemma Foster, 3Squared
Covid Hero Individual
Vittorio Licata, GB Railfreight
Covid Hero Company
Photo credit: James Falkner/ Rail Freight Group