The greatest show on rails

Keith Fender reports from Berlin’s Innotrans extravaganza, which takes over the city’s Messe exhibition complex every two years.

Where would you find the latest trains before they enter service, every conceivable piece of railway technology, and for good measure free cab rides in a steam loco?

General view of the Innotrans 2016 show. All images: KEITH FENDER
General view of the Innotrans 2016 show. KEITH FENDER

Every two years the world’s railway industry converges on the exhibition centre in Berlin for the Innotrans trade fair – the latest trains and technology are displayed and railway managers, politicians, train builders and equipment suppliers all get together.

The event started more than 20 years ago, initially to showcase the German rail supply industry. It had under 200 exhibitors, but quickly grew to something much bigger.

The mid-September 2016 event saw 2,955 exhibiting companies from more than 60 countries and 144,470 visitors from 140 countries.

It is not just for trade visitors willing to pay €50 or more for a ticket – the show has a tradition of making the outdoor exhibits, including most new trains, accessible to the public the weekend after the main event for just €3, and this year, 16,000 took advantage.

Read more in November’s issue of The RM

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