FTS Tools won the NRC's first-ever "Innovation In Technology" award for its work to develop battery-operated tools with comparable productivity, durability, and power as hydraulic options.

NRC Honors FTS Tools and Harsco Rail with Innovation in Technology Awards

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association(NRC) has awarded FTS Tools LLC and Harsco Rail as the first and second-place winners respectively for its inaugural 2022 Innovation in Technology Award.

The NRC introduced the Innovation in Technology Award for the first time to honor innovation and unique technologies, or technological services, created or implemented by an NRC member company.

FTS Tools LLC, the first-place winner, successfully developed battery-operated tools with comparable productivity, durability, and power as hydraulic options in response to requests by Class I railroads for safer and greener high-performance tools.

Throughout the development process, FTS Tools collaborated with railroad and contractor clients to secure input and to test new tools. The results are earning praise from trackworkers for eliminating hoses, hazards, injuries, and excessive set-up time, while enhancing safety with lightweight, purposeful designs.

The NRC honored Harsco Rail with the second-place award for its TX16 production/switch tamper. After two years of field operation, the tamper is delivering significant reductions in set-up and shutdown time along with more than a 30-percent increase in tamping productivity.

The tamper features a range of other innovations that are producing safety and operating advantages, including improved operator visibility and safety, greater efficiency in switches, expanded productivity windows, and automated, highly accurate technology.

The NRC’s Technology Committee Chairman Allen Branham, president of B4 Solutions, LLC., said the Innovation in Technology Award dovetails directly with the Committee’s mission to promote the use of technology to enhance safety and operations for our members and the railroad industry.

“Our members continually hear from engineering leaders with railroads and transit agencies that technology innovation is critical and an increasingly important way to improve safety and productivity and to reduce cost. The Technology Committee decided that establishing an award would be a great way to recognize and honor companies that are developing impactful technologies that achieve those results,” adds Branham.

What our members say…

“The NRC’s Technology Committee was developed in response to requests by railway engineering leaders for technology solutions that will help generate returns on investment and bottom-line savings. The Committee introduced the ‘Innovation in Technology Award’ to recognize innovative and unique technologies or technological services. The award highlights ways our members are using technology to enhance safety and operations in our industry.”

Allen Branham


B4 Solutions LLC

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