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(The InnoTrans display featured 155 vehicles on the outdoor track)

(Dr. Christian Goke, CEO, Messe Berlin GmBH)

“The Future of Mobility” was the theme of this year’s InnoTrans, the bi-annual international trade fair for the rail industry held by Messe Berlin in Berlin, Germany. This year, there were 146 word premieres, highlighting the importance of the event as a showcase of innovation and economic driver of the sector, said Christian Göke, chief executive officer, Messe Berlin GmbH.

Ben Möbius, managing director, Verband der Bahnindustrie in Deutschland e.V. (VDB), said, “Implementing the best mobility there has ever been, with partners all over the world – that’s our mission and that’s what InnoTrans 2018 is all about. InnoTrans is a trade fair of superlatives with one superstar: the mobility of tomorrow.”

Covering 2,152,782 square feet, this year’s event includes 155 vehicles on the outdoor track display and 10 buses in the outdoor bus display. There were 3,062 exhibitors from 51 countries and they anticipate more than 130,000 attendees over the four-day event.

Messe Berlin GmbH Senior Vice President of the Business Unit Mobility & Services Matthias Steckmann said in a statement, “InnoTrans is now well-established internationally as the outstanding platform for the industry. Not only is it the world’s leading trade fair for the rail sector, but it has now become established as an essential platform for every aspect of local passenger transport, too.”

The bus display was first introduced in 2016 and this year the International Bus Forum was introduced to accompany the display. The theme of the forum is “Electric buses in public transport – The solution to attaining clean air and climate targets in urban transport?” which was put together by The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV).

Ben Möbius, managing director, Verband der Bahnindustrie in Deutschland e.V. (VDB), said the rail industry is moving innovation forward in e-mobility and automated systems. Electric mobility is moving people with less impact on the environment and automation is affording transit operators to run on a tighter schedule to increase capacity. The essence of innovations for the railway industry, he said, is that it makes good sense and it’s great fun to ride rail.

Philippe Citroën, director general, Union des Industries Ferroviares Européennes (UNIFE), said there are several megatrends continuing to lead development in the railway industry and are expected to continue to the further growth in the market. Those include urbanization, population growth, globalization and increasing environmental awareness. The growth of the market is being driven by all product segments, he said, but also said it will undergo a massive transformation due to digitalization, automation, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and innovative financing models.

Martin Schmitz, managing director of the Engineering Business Unit, Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen e. V. (VDV), said, “Mobility needs are increasing,” and that cities need to move people and freight but with less traffic. “How can we further develop the infrastructure used in a more intelligent way?” he asked.


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