CAF wins coveted Manufacturer of the Year title at Global Light Rail Awards

CAF has picked up two titles at this year’s prestigious Global Light Rail Awards – the coveted Manufacturer of the Year and Project of the Year Under €50m – and supplementary to this, were also awarded highly commended in two other categories.

The annual awards celebrate and reward the industry’s most outstanding contributors and innovators.

Winning the Manufacturer of the Year category acknowledges the company’s reputation as a world-leading provider of products, services and solutions for the railway sector.

An unswerving commitment to research, development and innovation – allied to a belief in continuous improvement of products and processes throughout the company – sees CAF continue to expand both operationally and financially.

CAF is unmatched as a provider of rolling stock and solutions encompassing high speed, inter-city, commuter, metro and trams and millions of passengers every day reap the benefits from the company’s expertise in research, development and innovation.

The judges commented: “No nonsense, no fuss, just excellent service. Be it light rail, heavy rail, or even buses now, they have won the respect of everyone they have supplied their services to.”

CAF has previously won the Manufacturer of the Year Award in 2017 and 2016.

CAF’s contract to supplying six state-of-the-art vehicles for the first catenary-free light rail system in passenger operation in Oceania scooped the Project of the Year Under €50m category.

Awarded the contract in 2016, CAF delivered the trams on time and within budget for the launch of the new Newcastle Light Rail service in New South Wales, Australia, in February this year.

The trams are fitted with the CAF Greentech Freedrive energy storage system, enabling catenary-free running to reduce the vehicles’ visual impact in the city centre.

On the first day of operation, 15,000 passengers used the service and within the first month 100,000 passenger journeys were made – more than double the expected usage.

The award recognises CAF’s contribution to the transformation of the city through an inclusive, sustainable and environmentally sound mode of transport, with the judges commenting that the project has “been a huge success, reshaping the city’s transport network around a vital new spine that is bringing development back into the city”.

CAF Maintenance Engineer, Kenny Ewan was highly commended in two categories – Employee of the Year and Rising Star of the Year.

Kenny joined the company in 2013 as a technician on the Edinburgh Trams project after 22 years in the automotive industry. He quickly progressed to become the first Edinburgh technician to achieve T4 – Expert grade in May 2018 and developed the in-house technical training courses to upskill and improve team competencies to provide a multi-disciplined maintenance service.

The first recognised internal Edinburgh Trams technical maintenance trainer, Kenny was seconded to Maintenance Engineer in January this year and has gone on to lead, develop and implement the traction motor overhaul programme. The judges were impressed with Kenny’s intuitive nature and commitment, highlighting that “He uses his own time to hone his skills in mentoring and bring other team members up to his own high standards. His employers love him, his team love him, and the judges do too.”

CAF UK Director Richard Garner commented: “We are thrilled with our two award wins and particularly the title of Manufacturer of the Year.

“It is fantastic that CAF’s reputation as a leader in the global rail industry has once again been acknowledged and rewarded by the judges.

“We are also delighted and proud that Kenny, a real asset to the CAF team, has been recognised for always striving to create efficiencies in working practices and improve the service for our customers.”