Aesthetic Overhead Line Structures

RIBA Competition Shortlist revealed for Aesthetic Overhead Line Structures for the UK Rail Network

The rail industry’s FutureRailway, in conjunction with HS2 Ltd and the RIBA, invited architects, engineers and designers worldwide to submit new, aesthetically pleasing designs for the gantry and cantilever structures on the UK rail network.

62 entries were received from 14 different countries by the 4 February deadline and the Judging Panel met on 11 February to select a shortlist for the next stage.

Ten designs have been identified for the shortlist and the teams in alphabetical order are:

  • Bystrup Architecture, Design and Engineering, Denmark (with two designs shortlisted)
  • COBE, Denmark
  • Grimshaw
  • Gorton, Paul, Scheuvens + ARUP
  • IDOM UK Ltd with Alan Baxter & Associates and SEMI
  • Lariko/Urbanski
  • Moxon Architects
  • PWA
  • Ramboll UK

The ten shortlisted designs will be revealed at an exhibition at the National Railway Museum in York and on the competition website from 1 April 2014.

Interviews will be held with the ten teams on the 6 & 7 May with up to four designs then selected and the names revealed at a press event to be held at the National Railway Museum on the evening of the 7 May 2014.

Up to £150,000 per design will be available to develop the selected designs further by undertaking detailed technical and mathematical modelling and considering the route to market.


Please ensure RIBA Competitions is credited when mentioning the above competition.  RIBA Competitions delivers variety, inspiration and value through expertly run competitive selection processes.  For further details please visit

About FutureRailway: FutureRailwayis the delivery team working on behalf of the cross-industry Technical Strategy Leadership Group (TSLG) to implement the Rail Technical Strategy. FutureRailway incorporates the activities of the former Enabling Innovation Team which was set up by the rail industry to accelerate the uptake of innovation. Our mission is to offer support to practical cross-industry demonstrator projects, but also seeking out innovative ideas and proposals from across the industry. Our approach is to: understand the challenges that industry faces; connect potential innovators with these challenges; and, where necessary with potential funding. The team is hosted by RSSB, and reports into TSLG, and is supported by the Rail Delivery Group, RSSB’s Board as well as the Department for Transport.

HS2 Ltd

  • HS2 Ltd is the company responsible for developing and promoting the first phase of the high speed rail network from London to the West Midlands. It is undertaking the engineering, design and environmental work for this.
  • Parliament will need to give permission to build and operate HS2 through a specific type of bill, called a hybrid bill. The bill for the first phase of HS2 was deposited in Parliament on 25 November 2013..
  • In 2012, HS2 Ltd submitted proposals to the Secretary of State for the second part of the network from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester. The Government announced its initial preferred route to Leeds and Manchester on 28 January 2013. The consultation on the initial preferred route for this second phase of the network closed on 31 January 2014.  A decision on the post-consultation route will be announced by the Transport Secretary later in the year.
  • HS2 Ltd is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT).


Posted on Tuesday 11th March 2014