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Brunel Awards winners announced
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the International Union of Railways (UIC), the worldwide association of cooperation for railway companies,  jointly announced today that  43 projects from 11 nations have been recognized for design excellence in the 2011 Edition of the prestigious Brunel Awards International Railway Design Competition in judging recently completed in Washington, D.C.  Over 150 entries were received from railway and government organizations throughout the world that own or operate railway services and/or manage rail infrastructure.  Nineteen projects received Brunel Awards, the highest level of recognition, while 24 others received Commendations. 

The U.S. and Japan won the most Brunel Awards with five each.  Other nations receiving awards are Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The official award ceremony will take place in Washington on Oct. 14, 2011 with representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the AAR, the UIC, and the Watford Group making presentations to the winners.  

The Brunel Awards competition recognizes and promotes the best in railway architecture, engineering, landscape and environmental design, product design, locomotive and car design, graphic arts, and corporate branding amongst the world’s railways.  Honorary Co-Chairs of the Brunel Awards Committee are the Hon. Joseph Szabo, FRA Administrator and AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.  

"This year‘s submissions from the rail industry are evidence of the tremendous commitment to quality in design and expertise in building and maintaining a true 21st Century rail network. The Brunel Awards competition provides a platform to recognize good design while reinforcing the importance of rail in everyday life," said Ed Hamberger.  

UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said, ”The Brunel Awards competition illustrates the essential role of quality design and innovative architecture in railway systems throughout the world  that make them more sustainable and more  beneficial to society while at the same time more attractive and more enjoyable for their customers.”

The jury was composed of international leaders from the design and railway fields chaired by Professor Ronald Kemnitzer, FIDSA, of Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Va.  “The quality and creativity of the submissions was very high and posed a real challenge to the Jury to reach consensus in just two days of evaluation,” said Professor Kemnitzer. 

Other jurors were: Chase Rynd, CEO of the National Building Museum; Angela Brady, President-elect of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Roy Allen, CEO of the U.S. Transportation Technology Center; Ignacio Barron, Director of the UIC Passenger Department; Niels Diffrient, noted American industrial designer; Pamela Loeffelman, past Vice President of the American Institute of Architects, and Professor Lars Lallerstedt, Swedish designer and educator.

The Brunel Awards are sanctioned by the Watford Group of International Railway Designers, an organization founded in 1963 and composed of railway design professionals from 20 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.  The Brunel Awards were created in 1985 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of England’s Great Western Railway designed by the renowned British architect and engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Subsequently, the competition has been held at three-year intervals rotating among the Watford member nations.  The last time it was held in the U.S. was 1994.