With significant investment underway in the rail sector, Impact looks ahead to Infrarail 2012 at the NEC where hundreds of companies will come together to meet with and hear from the sector’s leading figures
The outlook looks good for investment in rail infrastructure in the UK. In January this year the government announced that it firmly supported plans to create a high-speed rail network linking London with the West Midlands and eventually northern England. Work continues on the £16 billion Crossrail project, a new heavy rail electrified east-west suburban line through London, and the capital’s north-south Thameslink route is also currently the subject of a long-term capacity enhancement upgrade. And due to start imminently is a programme of main line electrification, with the largest project covering the Great Western Main Line from the capital to Bristol and Cardiff.
Alongside these major schemes are investments in improvements to the system nationwide in response to continuously rising passenger and freight demand that confirms the British network as still the fastest growing in Europe.
In urban rail, the London Underground network continues to benefit from a comprehensive renewal and modernisation programme, and light rail systems in several British cities – Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham are examples – are being extended.
This sets the scene for Infrarail 2012, with plenty of new products expected to be on display and innovation promising to be a key feature of the event. As well as an impressive line-up of exhibitors’ stands, this year’s show includes an On Track Display of smaller items of equipment and tools in the exhibition hall plus a new area, The Yard, presenting larger plant and machinery used for railway construction and maintenance.
By mid-February more than 160 companies were preparing to take part in this year’s Infrarail exhibition of rail infrastructure products and services. The event covers all aspects of the rail infrastructure market, ranging from civil engineering, track and signalling & communications to electrification, station equipment and the many other fixed assets of the railway.
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 2 May. This recognises recent successes and achievements by companies taking part in the exhibition.
Supporting activities also include an extensive free seminar programme, with an impressive line-up of keynote speakers. Minister of State for Transport Theresa Villiers will deliver a presentation on the first day of the show, with Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, London Rail at Transport for London, speaking on 2 May. Network Rail’s Director, Investment Projects, Simon Kirby will be keynote speaker on the third day, 3 May.
Also taking place, and open to all attending Infrarail, will be The Platform. This will take the form of a programme of panel discussions addressing key industry topics. Panel members will include both senior figures from within the industry and outside specialists likely to introduce new perspectives to the issues being discussed.
Full programmes for all these activities will be added to the show website as they are finalised. Also available via the website is the latest list of exhibitors. Visit www.infrarail.com for more information.
Infrarail 2012 will be the ninth in a successful series of events organised by Mack Brooks Exhibitions.
May 1 –Theresa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport
May 2 - Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, London Rail at Transport for London
May 3 - Network Rail’s Director, Investment Projects, Simon Kirby
Impact readers can avoid a £15 on-the-door registration fee by registering now on www.infrarail.com