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Brunel Award winners recognized by DOT, FRA
44 projects from 12 nations recognized for excellence in design

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, together with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Joe Szabo, International Union of Railways (UIC) Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and Center for Industrial Design in Transportation Board Chairman James Michel, recently awarded the prestigious 2011 Brunel International Railway Design Competition Award to 20 projects from nine nations, and recognized another 24 projects for excellence in design. The awards were presented during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 14.

Metro North Railroad and the JR Kyushu were awarded the special “Jury Prize for Overall Design Excellence” in recognition of their holistic approaches to quality design that focus on the customer and deliver quality transportation. The prizes were presented to the winners by Secretary LaHood and Jury Chairman Prof. Ronald Kemnitzer of Virginia Tech.

The U.S. and Japan won the most Brunel Awards. Other nations receiving awards include Austria, China, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

“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 Secretary LaHood.  “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.”

“I commend the Awards Jury for the diversity of their selections…truly representing rail’s role in moving goods and people throughout the world,” said FRA Administrator Szabo in remarks during the ceremony. “We’re particularly proud of the eight U.S. projects selected…representing the best of our freight and passenger network.”

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.

“The Brunel Awards celebrates the innovation behind the railroad industry and brings well-deserved awareness to the tremendous commitment our industry has to research and quality design,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “The efficiency and productivity of American railroads has long been admired throughout the world and I am so pleased that the Award Committee has presented U.S. freight and passenger railroads with five Brunel Awards and three Commendations.”

UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said, “Engineers, architects and designers, have a leading responsibility in developing the image of rail as a modern, attractive and sustainable transport mode, well accepted by people, and cost efficient for its owners. This year’s Brunel Award winners exemplify excellence and dedication to that responsibility.”

“Infrastructure and buildings projects in the rail transportation sector must incorporate sustainable and attractive features so the stakeholders can be proud of their investment,” said James Michel, Board Chairman of C4IDT.  “The Brunel Awards is a means to make owners and public officials aware of the positive results that can accrue when they incorporate quality design processes at the very start of new projects.”

More than 150 entries were received from railway and government organizations throughout the world that own or operate railway services and/or manage rail infrastructure.

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. This year’s competition was organized by the Watford Group, the Center for Industrial Design in Transportation, Inc. (C4IDT), jointly with the American Association of Railroads (AAR) and the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Additional information is available upon request from the Center for Industrial Design in Transportation, Inc. at brunel2011@c4idt.org.
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