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SEPTA Projects Receive Distinguished International Honor

Andrew Busch
SEPTA Press Officer

SEPTA recently received a prestigious international honor for reconstruction work on three major station projects.

The work done at the Fort Washington, Ambler and North Wales Stations resulted in SEPTA being selected as a winner for the 2011 Edition of the Brunel Awards. The awards, which are presented once every three years, are named for acclaimed British railway engineer, inventor and architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the founder and builder of the Great Western Railway.

The Brunel Awards Competition distinguishes some of the best projects in railway architecture, graphics, industrial design and art, technical infrastructure and overall design quality across the world's railways.

A number of SEPTA Engineering, Maintenance and Construction employees from several divisions were involved in the efforts that led to SEPTA's projects being singled out for the 2011 Brunel Awards. They were honored by transit professionals from around the globe during a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"It's a significant accomplishment to be recognized by an international group of transit professionals for excellence in design and architecture," said Ed La Guardia, SEPTA's Chief Engineering Officer for Bridges and buildings.

More than 150 entries were submitted from railway and government organizations throughout the world for consideration. SEPTA was one of just five organizations from the United States to be honored.

The aim of the awards is to promote aesthetic quality, customer orientation and sustainability across all sectors of the rail industry.

For all three projects, SEPTA also faced the challenge of incorporating modern customer amenities into station designs that were consistent with their historical legacies.

"These projects present a number of design challenges," La Guardia said. "We have to analyze each to ensure we have proper traffic flow for passengers and incorporate high-level platforms and other upgrades without obscuring the original, historical design of the facility."

SEPTA officials noted the significance of receiving international acclaim for the projects.

"I am extremely proud of the design and construction efforts that enabled us to win this prestigious international award," said Jeffrey D. Knueppel, SEPTA's Chief Engineer and Assistant General Manager Engineering, Maintenance and Construction.

"A conversation that I had with one of the scoring judges explained that the European judges were especially impressed with how our architecture drew upon the rich historical heritage of the American railroading industry," Knueppel said. "Our riders and the communities that these stations serve have been extremely pleased with the end product."

For more information about the Brunel awards, click here.

Ed La Guardia, SEPTA's Chief Engineering Officer, Bridges and Buildings, shows the 2011 Brunel Awards plaque at SEPTA Headquarters.

SEPTA General Manager speaks at the 2011 Brunel Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The ribbon cutting for the North Wales Station, which was recognized with the award.

The Ambler Station, seen here during a recent ceremony, was also named.

Display boards tell the story of the reconstruction of the Ambler, Fort Washington and North Wales stations.