By early March more than 180 companies had confirmed their participation in the show, which covers all aspects of the market, ranging from civil engineering, track and signalling & communications to electrification, station equipment and the many other fixed assets of the railway.
This year’s three-day show will be the ninth in a successful series organised by Mack Brooks Exhibitions running in alternate years to the company’s popular Railtex events. Entry is free for pre-registered visitors – online registration is available via simple links on the show website www.infrarail.com
. Pre-registering also avoids a £15 entrance fee payable on the door.
With Crossrail and Thameslink forging ahead in London, electrification of the Great Western Main Line from the capital to Bristol and Cardiff due to start soon and the Government firmly supporting current high-speed rail proposals, prospects look good for the industry’s suppliers.
These prospects are further boosted by major capacity enhancement schemes in response to continuously rising passenger and freight demand that confirms the British network as still the fastest growing in Europe. Urban rail is also benefiting from investment. The London Underground network continues to undergo a comprehensive renewal and modernisation programme, and light rail systems in several British cities – Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham are examples – are being extended.
This all provides a healthy background for Infrarail 2012, where exhibitors will be targeting the market with plenty of new products and ideas. Key areas of visitor interest emerging from early information supplied by exhibitors include advances in modular signalling technology, innovations in plant and tools for track and infrastructure construction and maintenance and the latest security products.
Platform safety and station fittings will also feature, as will further pioneering rail applications for materials such as polymers and fibreglass, while several exhibitors will be addressing the critical issue of cable theft.
In addition to an impressive line-up of exhibitors’ stands, the show will again include the now familiar On Track Display. Sponsored by Tata Steel, this consists of sections of track laid in the exhibition hall to show smaller items of equipment and tools. This year it will be supplemented by a new feature, The Yard, also in the exhibition hall, presenting larger plant and machinery used for railway construction and maintenance and staged in collaboration with the Rail Plant Association.
Among organisations supporting the show are Network Rail, the Railway Industry Association and the Rail Alliance – the latter promoting its members’ products and services in a dedicated and clearly signed area in the centre of the hall.
The industry’s personnel needs will also be reflected. As well as hosting stands covering workwear and PPE, occupational health and training the show will feature the Recruitment Wall, an area of the exhibition allowing exhibitors to publicise work opportunities and job vacancies.
A regularly updated list of all Infrarail exhibitors can be found
on the show website.
Taking place alongside the exhibition will be a full programme of supporting activities, all intended to add to value to the time industry professionals spend visiting the event. An extensive free seminar programme will run over all three days of Infrarail, with an impressive line-up of keynote speakers. Minister of State for Transport Theresa Villiers will deliver a presentation on the first day, while Howard Smith, chief operating officer, London Rail at Transport for London, will be speaking on 2nd May. And Network Rail’s managing director, investment projects, Simon Kirby is the keynote speaker on the third day, 3rd May. Complementing these speeches will be presentations by exhibitors covering a variety of technical innovations. No registration is necessary for the seminars, which take place in the main hall.
Also featured this year, and open to all attending Infrarail, will be The Platform. This will take the form of a programme of afternoon panel discussions addressing key industry topics under the over-riding theme ‘Minds are like parachutes – they work when open’. Panel members will include both senior figures from within the industry and outside specialists likely to introduce new perspectives to the issues being discussed.
More opportunities for developing business relationships will be provided by the opening day’s Networking Reception for exhibitors and visitors to the show, and by the Infrarail Awards Dinner on the evening of 2nd May. With the NEC as its venue, this will recognise recent successes and achievements by companies taking part in the exhibition. The special guest at the dinner will be Pete Waterman, who will be presenting the awards and no doubt adding thought-provoking comments.
More details at www.infrarailawards.com
Full programmes for all these activities are being added to the show website as they are finalised.
for more information