Taking place for the tenth time. InnoTrans was a superlative industry event. There was expansion in all the relevant categories at the leading international trade fair for transport technology. Between 23 and 26 September innovations in rail technology were presented in Berlin by 2,758 exhibitors from 55 countries, and 61 per cent of them came from abroad. InnoTrans 2014 was attended by 138,872 trade visitors from more than 100 countries. All available space on the exhibition grounds at Berlin ExpoCenter City was occupied, with displays covering a net area of 102,843 square metres.
InnoTrans was last held in 2012, and since then there has been a ten per cent increase in the numbers of exhibitors and trade visitors. Participation by international exhibitors rose by four per cent and there was an increase of two percentage points in the net display area. The highlight of InnoTrans 2014 was the presentation of 145 new rail vehicles on the outdoor display area and the rail track. This event in Berlin featured no fewer than 140 products making their world debut, providing convincing proof of the innovative strengths of the rail industry and the importance of this trade fair as a marketing platform and as a force for promoting innovation.
This year contracts worth millions and numerous joint venture agreements were again signed and announced during InnoTrans. For example, Stadler Rail announced that the Finnish rail operator Junakalusto Oy has placed an order worth 200 million euros for a further 34 Flirt trains. An agreement was signed between Deutsche Bahn and the Polish manufacturer Pesa for the supply of 26 Link trains for Bavaria. According to Deutsche Bahn this investment is valued at some 100 million euros.
During InnoTrans the representatives of Alstom and Vossloh signed a contract with a value of eleven million euros to equip Vossloh locomotives with the latest train control systems (ETCS). In addition Deutsche Bahn and the French rail operator SNCF signed an extension to their joint venture agreement at InnoTrans for high speed, cross-border services with TGV and ICE trains, and this will now run until 2020. The Japanese Toshiba group and the train operator Singapore Rail Engineering set up a joint venture at InnoTrans 2014.
For the first time in the history of InnoTrans 145 rail vehicles were shown on the rail track and outdoor display. Attracting wide attention at the events for the press, leading manufacturers of rolling stock demonstrated 17 innovative rail vehicles and performed symbolic handovers to customers. For example, together with Deutsche Bahn Alstom presented its new H3 hybrid locomotive. Alongside Ansaldobreda and the Italian network operator Trenitalia, Bombardier displayed its Frecciarossa 1000 high-speed train, among other products.
In the presence of Patrick McLoughlin, the UK minister of transport, Siemens unveiled its Desiro City Thameslink train, which made its first public appearance. In an official ceremony at InnoTrans Pesa handed over the DB Link, the first Polish train manufactured for Deutsche Bahn. Another ceremonial event also took place with Vossloh’s handover of a G 18 locomotive to Spitzke. Together with Serbia’s rail network operator Stadler presented its new Flirt 3 regional passenger train in Berlin.
The InnoTrans Convention featured five major forums offering a total of eleven specialist events with prominent participants. The forums provided a venue for discussions about the latest aspects of mobility and have given a lasting impetus to the debate within the industry. The discussions at the Dialog Forum included German and European perspectives on railway engineering certification and the shortfall in financing for mass transit systems.
The Rail Leaders‘ Summit, a panel discussion involving prominent figures from the international rail industry, included on its agenda the subject of “Mobility 4.0”. Speaking at the Summit, the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt, emphasized that the intelligent application of digitalization could enable the railways to become the mode of transport for the future.
The International Design Forum provided an arena for discussions about closer links between design and mobility. The International Tunnel Forum focused on the extensive need for maintenance of European railway tunnels, some of which are up to 150 years old. The DB Suppliers’ Forum provided an opportunity for Deutsche Bahn to respond to questions from its suppliers. The importance of digital real-time information for today’s passengers was a main topic of the Public Transport Forum.
Exhibitors and trade visitors were positive in their assessments of InnoTrans 2014. A representative survey revealed that around 90 per cent of exhibitors would recommend this event to others and were clearly intent on taking part in the event again. Moreover 90 per cent of exhibitors obtained a positive overall impression of InnoTrans and are expecting successful follow-up business. Among trade visitors, 90 per cent stated their satisfaction with the range on offer and with the commercial results of their visit to this trade fair. The survey also revealed a significant rise in the decision-making responsibilities of trade visitors compared with the previous event.
Under sunny autumn skies the public days at InnoTrans, on 27 and 28 September, attracted some 15,000 railway enthusiasts of all ages to the Messe Berlin outdoor display area. Attention focused in particular on the hi-tech trains being exhibited by the international rail industry, which visitors were able to examine in detail. For younger visitors the main attractions were the many opportunities to take part in a variety of activities, the chance to climb onto the largest toy train in the country, and the old steam locomotive Emma. Deutsche Bahn, together with the local public transport networks Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, provided details about their ranges of passenger services and vocational training opportunities.