Railway Industry Innovation Awards

Event date


Taking place online
United Kingdom

4th Friday Club Event


Sponsored By

Porterbrook     Railway Industry Association Logo      Focal Point Preview Image      Focal Point Preview Image      Focal Point Preview Image      Focal Point Preview Image      Focal Point Preview Image      Houghton Logo      Modern Railways Blue Logo


Founded in 1998, the Railway Industry Innovation Awards are the longest-standing awards scheme in the industry. Now organised by the 4th Friday Club, the Awards are the annual event at which everybody keen on seeing innovation in the railway sector meets up to discuss and celebrate the brightest ideas in the industry

Visit Virtual Railway Industry Innovation Awards


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HOST: Roger Ford

Industry and Technology Editor, Modern Railways

Roger is probably best known for his authoritative column ‘Informed Sources’ in the monthly trade and technical magazine Modern Railways. ‘Informed Sources’ is noted for its in-depth analysis of railway technical, commercial and policy issues.


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Associate Director, Steer Group

Since 1992, Helen has worked in a wide range of consultancy, TOC and owning group roles. She has experience of all aspects of rail operations, along with rolling stock and infrastructure specification and delivery. She is passionate about the benefits that innovation can unlock and seeks to overcome institutional barriers to application of new ideas.


Due to the Covid crisis this year's Railway Industry Innovation Awards will be held as an online event on Friday 23 October.


The 4th Friday Club’s annual event celebrating the best in railway innovation takes place each year. The 2020 awards will be the 22nd for the longest standing award scheme in the industry.

This is an event to celebrate the achievements of those companies and individuals who are pushing the industry forward by developing innovative ideas.


Entries in the Railway Industry Innovation Awards are assigned to one of these categories:

• Environment

• Passenger experience

• Cross-industry partnership

• Operations and performance

• Engineering and Safety

• Small-scale project

• Major project

Winners of the Railway Industry Innovation Awards are presented with a fine cut glass engraved vase from Dartington Glass.


Entries for the 2020 awards have now closed. Details of entry for the 2021 awards will be provided in due course.


For sponsorship opportunities contact Chris Shilling on 07736 635916 or email chris@shillingmedia.co.uk


The Railway Industry Innovation Award entries are judged by a panel of industry experts:

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CHAIRMAN Haydn Abbott

Former Managing Director of Angel Trains

The former Managing Director of the Angel Trains Group has also served as Chairman of the Railway Industry Association, the Railway Sector Advisory Group and is also Chairman of the UK arm of the Railway Children charity.


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James Abbott

Consultant Editor, Modern Railways magazine

James is one of the most respected journalists in the railway industry. He also set up the Fourth Friday Club, the magazine’s programme of formal events which includes three major annual awards ceremonies.


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David Clarke

Technical Director, Railway Industry Association

A chartered engineer, David has over 30 years’ rail industry experience. He was previously innovation director at RSSB, moving to RIA in 2016 to represent members’ interests in the areas of safety, technical standards, technical strategy, research and innovation.


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Ben Ford

Innovation Support Manager, Network Rail

Previously Innovation Manager at Pera, Ben joined Network Rail in 2012 where his role is to support and promote the company’s innovation agenda, help define projects, facilitate access to resources and manage and develop innovation systems.


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Irina Parsina

Microsoft Teams Customer Engineering lead for Firstline Workforce

Irina’s role in Microsoft Teams’ product group is focused on enabling organisations to digitally empower their firstline workforce, having previously driven Microsoft’s Customer Success engagements in UK rail. Before joining Microsoft, Irina led various digital projects in transport and technology sectors, having started her career in academia, working towards a PhD in computational simulation of nanoalloys.


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Kelvin Davies

Innovation Lead Rail, InnovateUK

Kelvin has over 20 years’ experience delivering engineering and advanced technology. He joined InnovateUK in 2015 to lead the organisation’s activities related to rail innovation including the delivery of competitions and programs on behalf of the Department for Transport and Network Rail.