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Metro-North, Amtrak projects attain Brunel design honors


On Oct. 14, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, International Union of Railways (UIC) Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and Center for Industrial Design in Transportation Chairman James Michel presented the 2011 Brunel International Railway Design Competition Awards to 20 projects in nine nations and recognized another 24 projects for design excellence during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The awards recognize excellence in railway architecture, engineering, landscape and environmental design, product design, locomotive and car design, graphic arts, and corporate branding.
MTA Metro-North Railroad and Japan’s JR Kyushu Railway Co. received the “Jury Prize for Overall Design Excellence” award in recognition of their “holistic approaches” to quality design. Metro-North is the first U.S. railroad to win the prize in the Brunel award’s 26-year history.

To be eligible for the jury prize, a railroad must enter a project in all five award categories. Metro-North did so and won first place in the “Freight and Railway Support Buildings” category for its Croton-Harmon locomotive and coach shops project.

Amtrak won a Brunel design excellence award for renovations to a station in Wilmington, Del. The design “balanced the need to modernize the station while retaining its historic charm,” according to a prepared statement. Amtrak also received a Brunel commendation for a Superliner I coach overhaul program that calls for restoring stored or wrecked coaches and returning them to service.

Other winning U.S. projects include the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Fort Washington/Ambler/North Wales Station; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Massachusetts Avenue & Columbia Road bridges; Norfolk Southern Railway’s Heartland Corridor intermodal route; District of Columbia Department of Transportation’s Washington Union Station bike transit center; and Union Pacific Railroad’s heritage locomotive fleet program.

“As we work to rebuild our transportation systems and create jobs, it is more essential than ever that we recognize the innovative engineers, architects and designers who make new rail projects possible,” said LaHood in a prepared statement. “These projects — including eight right here in the United States — all exemplify the idea that when we invest in transportation, we lay the groundwork for a new century of economic development, opportunity and growth.”
Projects in the United States and Japan won the most Brunel awards, while projects in Austria, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden also were recognized. The awards are sanctioned by the Watford Group of International Railway Designers, which organized this year’s competition with the Center for Industrial Design in Transportation Inc., Association of American Railroads and UIC.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/18/2011