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HEATED “skirts” and polytunnels which helped keep trains running during last winter’s cold snap have won a top innovation award.

The technology, which was used by ScotRail, won the Operations and Performance category at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards 2011 in London.

The innovation – believed to be a first in the railway industry – led to a 30 per cent rise in the number of trains returned to service compared with the first two weeks of the unprecedented conditions.