InnoTrans 2008: Trade fair approaches at high speed
World’s meeting place for transport technology is larger, more international, more innovative – Leading fair from 23 to 26 September in Berlin.
Berlin, Germany – The start of InnoTrans is approaching at high speed. The world’s largest trade show for transport technology will be opening in Berlin in just a few day’s time. More than 1,900 exhibitors from 41 countries are expected to attend this display of innovations. With displays covering 150,000 square metres in the halls and on the open air grounds almost all available space on the Exhibition Grounds at the Funkturm (Radio Tower) will be occupied. Over 80 high tech exhibits can be seen on the 3,500 metres of rail track, from the latest high speed trains to energy-saving high-power locomotives and the latest generation of trams.
The expansion has been impressive: Compared with InnoTrans 2006 there are an additional 50,000 square metres of display space, an extra 1,500 linear metres of rail track and 300 more exhibitors. Furthermore interest among the professionals is greater than at any time in the 12-year history of InnoTrans. Between 23 and 26 September the organisers, Messe Berlin, are expecting well over 70,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries.
International participation a main feature of this event
InnoTrans has always been notable for a high level of international participation, and this year over half of all the exhibitors will be coming from other countries. Leading companies from Australia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe will be among the exhibitors in Berlin, underlining the fact that no other trade show in this field attracts a comparable global participation.
In addition to companies from every continent more national industry associations than ever before are represented at InnoTrans too. Fifteen of these national associations are “flying the flag” on the Exhibition Grounds, with details about the commercial strengths of the industry in their respective countries. They will include associations from Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. A growing number of major transport companies are also using InnoTrans as a platform for marketing and communication, including Deutsche Bahn AG as well as PKP (Poland), ÖBB (Austria), Russian Railways, SBB (Switzerland), SNCF (France) and several others.
Innovations in the halls and on the tracks
Many of the highlights of this year’s InnoTrans can be seen on the extended rail track at the southern end of the site, including high speed trains from Alstom, Patentes Talgo and Siemens, powerful locomotives from General Electric, Voith and Vossloh, and the latest trams from Skoda and Stadler. Bombardier Transportation is presenting two world firsts: the TALENT 2 suburban and regional train, and the new Flexity tram for the German capital.
Innovative products and services for mobility that is both advanced and sustainable await visitors, occupying more halls than in 2006. This year the historic naturally lit halls at the northern end of the Exhibition Grounds are being used for the first time at this event, creating a clearly laid out circuit for trade visitors. The new concept for the grounds has also enabled improvements to be made to the structure of the various sections of the display. A second main entrance area for trade visitors is being set up for the first time at the northern end of the Exhibition Grounds.
The individual sections of the trade show have now become established as separate and important areas of InnoTrans. In comparison with other specialist events, Railway Infrastructure and Public Transport have now become world leaders in their fields. The expansion of the Public Transport section in particular has taken place remarkably quickly, with a display area twice as large as it was two years ago. Completing the display will be a new feature, a presentation of buses for use on suburban and regional routes, which can be seen on the open-air grounds between Halls 2.1 and 4.1.
Threefold concept of trade show, convention and exhibits on the track
The three components, comprising the trade show, the InnoTrans Convention and a display on the dedicated rail track, are a major feature of the successful InnoTrans concept. Issues of current concern to the industry will be the subject of concentrated discussions of the highest quality between experts at the InnoTrans Convention. The focal point is the Dialogue Forum, which is being organised by a number of prominent transport industry organisations, the German Transport Forum, the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), the Union of European Railway Industries (UNIFE) and the German Railway Industry Association (VDB). In 2006 there was a good response to the International Tunnel Forum, which is being held again this year by the German Research Association for Underground Transportation (STUVA). Other highlights of the Convention will include the European and Asian Rail Summit (EARS), under the leadership of Deutsche Bahn AG, which will provide a meeting place for transport ministers and the director generals of European and Asian transport companies.
The opening event of InnoTrans 2008 can be regarded as an international summit conference of the rail industry. The EU Transport Commissioner will be meeting with senior executives of the leading manufacturers of railway systems and with one of the world’s largest rail industry customers, the representatives of industrial associations and the German transport minister. Never before have so many distinguished participants been expected at the opening event of the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology. These round table discussions by leading decision-makers will address one of the biggest challenges facing the industry: “Innovative Rail Technologies and Climate Change”.
Open days for the public and all railway enthusiasts
As in previous years InnoTrans will be rounded off by the open days for the public on the rail tracks and open air grounds. On 27 and 28 September there will be an opportunity for members of the public to examine the latest rolling stock and many aspects of international rail transport technology. And there will be plenty to see for those with a particular interest in the railways of the past too, including a reconstruct-ion of the first German steam locomotive, “Adler” and a 1944 shunting locomotive in action. The Platform Party at InnoTrans has something for all the family. And throughout the entire weekend at InnoTrans there will be a special reminder for the people of Berlin that the world of rail transport technology is meeting in their city: the 150 metre Funkturm (Radio Tower) will be illuminated in brilliant InnoTrans blue during the evening and night time from 23 September onwards.