From the world
September 22, 2022
The trade fair had to be postponed twice. After four years, this is the first time the industry is meeting in person again. “Nothing comes close to meeting in person, seeing old friends again and making new contacts on the stands and at the many specialist events that accompany the trade fair. No video presentation, regardless of how well made, can replace seeing, hearing, smelling and even testing products at the event“, said Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin, who together with EU Commissioner Adina Vălean and Federal Transport Minister Dr. Volker Wissing opened InnoTrans 2022 on 20 September 2022.
Sustainability has become an important topic for manufacturers. Visitors couldn’t wait to experience 250 world innovations in the five segments Railway Technology, Railway Infrastructure, Public Transport, Interiors und Tunnel Construction. Innovations were identifiable by a button on the stands and hall plans to make navigating the halls easier. The World Innovation Guide (both the printed and online version at innotrans.de) contained detailed descriptions of the new products and services.
This year, InnoTrans displayed 124 new vehicles on 3,500 metres of rail track and the outdoor displays. They include hydrogen-powered trains. Siemens Mobility presented the Mireo Plus H, the next generation of hydrogen-powered trains, as well as the Mireo Plus B, which features a high-performance modular battery system. The hydrogen-powered passenger train Coradia iLint from Alstom is currently in service on commercial lines in Germany, and is due to operate twice daily from Berlin-Spandau to Berlin-Ostbahnhof. Guests of Alstom and selected partners were able to enjoy a test ride. Stadler took part with seven vehicles this year. For the first time the company showed the public its hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 multiple unit train for the American passenger rail market. In addition, Stadler showed its latest-generation TINA tram. This features a fully integrated drive system which for the first time allows for a completely new interior concept that dispenses with steps and platforms.
Deutsche Bahn was represented at InnoTrans with three so-called "idea trains". One of them was quite inconspicuously housed in the middle carriage of the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg. Its equipment: new seating groups or lean-to seats with a table. The train will go into passenger service in Hamburg in October. The "City" idea train is mainly intended to variably adapt capacity to traffic times. It was exhibited in a tent in front of the exhibition centre at the South Entrance. During rush hours, for example, seats can be folded up and locked, or "mini compartments" for two standing passengers each can be pushed together to make room for bicycles or prams. This idea train is still the future - but the third idea train, the DB Regio/Südostbayerbahn double-decker coach converted at the DB plant in Wittenberge, is real. On it, different areas such as compartments, "regulars' table", "office" and "new seating" - ten modules in total - can be experienced. According to Deutsche Bahn, this "comfort revolution" in regional transport is intended to make travel time an even better user experience. The train will be in passenger service between Munich and Mühldorf from spring 2023.
InnoTrans 2022 visitors were able to see technical innovations with the example of 14 buses assembled at the Berlin exhibition grounds. The Bus Display showcased vehicles, alternative drives and the associated charging infrastructure. The buses ran continuously on a 500-meter test track in the Summer Garden, known as the demonstration track, and invited visitors for a test drive.
For the third time Business France, together with partners, presented the French Rail Award at InnoTrans. The winner in the category "International Business Development'' was Sol Solution, a French engineering and consulting firm for innovations in the substructure, including health monitoring. In the "Innovation" category, Gillet Tools won with Move-it, a traction trolley with which an employee can manually move up to 150 tonnes on the track. France is represented at InnoTrans with 217 exhibitors. According to Luis Nègre, president of the French industry federation FIF (Fédération des industries ferroviaires), the French railway industry is the third largest in the world. Nègre sees the need to invest even more in the railways and wants to lobby the French government for additional funding of ten billion euros per year over the next five years, i.e. a total of 50 billion euros.
For many exhibitors finding qualified personnel is a key issue. That is why InnoTrans 2022 has expanded Campus, its careers programme, in Hall 4.2. Companies and job seekers were represented on the Talent Stage. On Wednesday, the Eurailpress Career Boost took place for the first time on the Talent Stage of the InnoTrans Campus. Eurailpress Editor-in-Chief Georg Kern welcomed 17 participants from five countries. From the youngest applicant aspiring to become a train driver to the career changer and the experienced operations manager looking for new challenges - the candidates presented themselves as highly qualified, motivated and versatile. During the 90-second pitches, the numerous guests and recruiters not only learned a lot about the careers and career aspirations, but also about the diverse commitments of the participants. Even during the event, the first contacts were made and business cards exchanged on the sidelines. Georg Kern sums up: "I take my hat off to every single participant who had the courage to present himself here on stage today. I am impressed and hope that we were able to initiate many contacts here today."