RSS wins Rail-Tech Europe Innovation Award 2011

Sustainable fence system with magnet voted most innovative product.

AMERSFOORT 30 March 2011 – At the Rail-Tech Europe 2011 trade fair in Amersfoort, the Europe Innovation Award 2011 was presented to Jan Bakker, CEO of Rail Safety Systems (RSS) in Venlo.

The winning product, a fence system with a magnet to permit safe working on the track, was chosen by an international jury of experts as the winner from 15 nominations. The selection criteria were aimed at finding the most innovative product based on inventiveness, sustainability and expected market share. The jury commended the magnet-based fence system from RSS as one example of a down-to-earth solution where simplicity is the ultimate result of long deliberations.

The Award

The jury was chaired by Professor Klaus Riessberger, who is attached to the Technical University of Graz (‘Institut für Eisenbahnwesen und Verkehrswirtshaft’) in Austria. Other members of the jury were Arjo van Loo, innovation manager at ProRail, and Chris Jackson, editor of Railway Gazette International in the UK.

Employees performing maintenance work on the track must be in a position to work safely. A fence screens the track being worked on from the track on which trains are in fact still operating.

The difference between the fence system from RSS and conventional fencing is its simple and rapid assembly using a magnet. Despite the magnet’s pulling power of 600 kg, the fencing can also be dismantled again with a simple arm movement.

The jury praised the system’s simple and rapid assembly and dismantling, as well as the possibility to reuse the fence.  “All together, the crucial significance of safety for employees performing maintenance work on the track was reason enough for the jury to send Rail Safety Systems home with the 2011 Award”, said jury chairman Professor Riessberger.

RSS gave a continuous demonstration of the winning product during the Europe Rail-Tech trade show.

This provided for many bemused looks as people searched for nuts and bolts, which this attachment system does without. The fence is attached to the track using a magnet.

“We are really delighted and proud of winning the Innovation Award”, says Jan Bakker, CEO van RSS. “We would like to thank the professionals in the railway sector and the various organizations for their contribution to developing the magnet-based fence system. Without their support it would never have been possible to develop this system, which is aimed at a very demanding environment with all its regulations.”

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