Winners announced for first annual Rail Interiors Awards


Author: Izzy Kington

The first winners of a new prize rewarding innovation in the rail interiors industry have been revealed. The Rail Interiors Awards 2023 recipients were announced at a special event on the evening of 8 November at The RedCabin Railway Innovation Summit, held in Vienna, Austria. RedCabin and the organisers of The Rail Interiors Show joined forces to create the awards.

The awards are not-for-profit and were judged by an independent jury of 12 rail industry experts and journalists: Manuel Diaz Redondo of Talgo; Christiane Bausback of N+P Innovation Design; Nicole Michel of Alstom; Kirsty Dias of PriestmanGoode; Christian Harbeke of Nose Design Experience; Weiwei He of tangerine; Izzy Kington of Railway Interiors International; Birte Jürgensen of zweigrad Industrial Design; Karsten Wagner of Stadler Rail; Jim Mathews of Rail Passengers Association; Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain of East West Rail; and Elizabeth Jordan of Global Railway Review. Jury members did not vote in categories they were nominated in.

There were more than 50 award entries across the six categories. The winners were presented with special trophies designed by zweigrad Industrial Design.

Lantal, Grammer, N+P and Sekisui Kydex triumphed in the Design Innovation of the Year category with the Nordstern Seating System. The solution unites Grammer’s modular magnesium seat structure technology, Sekisui Kydex thermoplastics, and Mesh fibre seat covers from Lantal.

The Project Collaboration of the Year award recognised the work put into a new generation of Nightjet trains by OEBB Austrian Federal Railways, PriestmanGoode and Siemens Mobility. The trains are designed to set a new benchmark with more choice, comfort and privacy for passengers travelling overnight.

The TrainOptimizer software solution from netwiss won the Technological Innovation of the Year award. Based on more than 20 years of R&D into rail passenger behaviour and building on data from over 400,000 passengers, the software is used to check and optimise vehicle layouts in terms of dwell time, seat availability and the accommodation of luggage.

Teague picked up the Concept of the Year award for Roam America, its vision for transforming long-haul passenger rail travel in the USA. The concept arose as an exploration of a rail travel experience designed to centre human needs, accessibility and inclusivity.

The New Cabin of the Year award went to Neomind and DB Regio Südostbayernbahn for the Train of Ideas, operational since July 2023. Believing in the importance of testing ideas in the real world, the team implemented as many elements as possible from the first idea train, in a real double-deck coach.

Finally, the Rail Cabin of the Year award went to PriestmanGoode, VIA Rail Canada and Siemens Mobility for VIA Rail’s new Corridor Fleet, designed to set a new standard for passenger experience, as well as being fully accessible and barrier-free.

“The feedback from the industry has been beyond our expectations,” commented Damien de Roche, executive brand manager, The Rail Interiors Show. “The rail sector is full of innovation and creativity, but until now, such efforts were not recognised. We expect the awards to go from strength to strength as rail operators, design houses, OEMs and suppliers continue to push boundaries.”

Monica Wick, founder and CEO of RedCabin, said: “The sheer breadth and quality of the award entries received in this – our first – annual Rail Interiors Awards made for a hugely enjoyable and engaging judging process. The award winners can truly celebrate the fact that they each fought off the strongest competition and can be rightly proud of their achievements.”

“Rail is one of the most pleasant and sustainable methods of travelling,” Wick continued. “These awards recognise the huge importance of innovation in passenger experience to drive further take-up of rail services globally. Our partnership with The Rail Interiors Show in jointly creating and promoting these awards helps ensure the importance of rail interiors remains front of mind in the industry.”

Click here for more information on the winning innovations, and other shortlisted entries.