A vital visit

Rail Live is the annual event that brings the entire industry together to showcase UK rail expertise and this year hosts the National Rail Convention

RAIL magazine and RailReview are working with The Rail Alliance to develop and enhance the established and successful Rail Live plant show. While the heart and soul of Rail Live continues to be its world class plant exhibition and demonstrations, pioneered successfully at Long Marston over the last five years – and before that at Milton Keynes – Rail Live 2018 is an entirely new concept.

Think of a major international air show, translated into the rail market. Exhibitors can do everything at Rail Live 2018 that they can do at Birmingham’s NEC or London’s ExceL – with the unique extra advantage of plenty of open air space and adjacent tracks to both demonstrate rail plant and equipment and exhibit passenger trains and other rail vehicles.

One of the main enhancements this year is the introduction of an exhibition hall of 2500m2 in a high-quality climate-controlled temporary building which accommodates more than 60 of the 300 Rail Live 2018 exhibitors including Hitachi, Eversholt, Talgo, Porterbrook, Office of Rail Regulation, National Skills Academy for Rail, Rail Delivery Group, High Speed 1, High Speed 2 and the Rail Safety & Standards Board. To see all the exhibitors, both inside and out, visit raillive.org.uk.

This building will also be where the National Rail Convention will be staged. The opening keynote will be given at 10:30 on Wednesday by Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling. Other speakers include RDG Chief Executive Paul Plummer, Network Rail CEO Mark Carne, TfL Commissioner Mike Brown, Urban Transport Group Chairman Tobyn Hughes, Campbell Keir, Deputy RL 150 bDirector Energy and Infrastructure, Department for International Trade, Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman, Network Rail and many more. The topics that feature in the programme range from the UK’s Industrial and Transport strategy to Tomorrow’s Railway People; from the opportunity devolved Transport Authorities represent to Making Innovation Pay.

There are also two lunchtime sessions – The Power of Good Leadership curated by Women in Rail on Wednesday and How to be a Success on The Railway curated by Young Rail Professionals on Thursday.

Full details can be found at www.nationalrailconference.com.

As every other year Rail Live plays host to a multitude of demonstrations and launches from the exhibitors. Scott Parnell will showcase its brand new smaller Size Zero Range trough for fibre and telecom cables, Stanton Bonna launches the innovative precast concrete MOFIX pile foundation while Gramm Barrier Systems is launching its Silent Rail at Rail Live. You will also see the innovative Peli™ 9600 LED lighting system, a brand new range of PureFlo respiratory protection products and MacRail is using Rail Live to launch its new flagship Rostering and Fatigue Risk Management system, Fatigue 360.

Exhibitor demonstrations include the Pira Duo mobile dust suppression unit, a unique Retention Socket foundation system, tiltrotator-equipped excavators, electronic torque wrenches and a brand new ballast scraping machine. Hird will be hosting demonstrations of the Cold Hole Expansion CBX Kit, AP Webb will be bringing a brand new ballast scraping machine and Railcare Sweden will be carrying out a ballast vacuum demonstration.

To see all the launches and demonstrations, nearly 40 of them, go to raillive.org.uk.

Other innovations for 2018 include demonstrations and special features brought to visitors by the organisers themselves. There will be tactical displays by 35 British Transport Police officers which include the presence of a specialist response unit, the scientific support unit, the firearms and dogs unit, along with the operational support unit. Network Rail’s small but vital Air Operations team will be displaying its survey helicopter at Rail Live. Using high-tech thermal and visual imaging equipment, the helicopter and its team survey the railway, identifying the smallest of faults and covering vast areas quickly. It will also be showcasing its complete range of services, including drone operations.

Drone technology used to survey accident sites on the rail network will also feature in the demonstration by Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB). It will also have on display one of its incident response vehicles, fitted out with everything inspectors require to respond to emergency situations on the rail network.

On track features at the event include a bi-mode traction display for both passenger and freight (Porterbrook Flex Class 319 conversion and a DRS Class 88 locomotive) plus Vivarail’s D Train battery prototype – which will be giving rides. You can even take a short ride behind Britain’s first fuel cell locomotive, built by the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Research and Education (BCRRE).

Plain Line Pattern Recognition 1, one of five trains Network Rail has that captures high-definition images combined with track geometry information which, when analysed with complex computer algorithms, enables candidate defects with the track to be highlighted and will be putting in an appearance.

So, all in all, Rail Live 2018 promises to be packed with useful, informative, interesting and vital content for anyone who works in the rail industry.

Rail Live 2018 and National Rail Convention
20-21 June 2018
Quinton Rail Technology Centre, Warwickshire

To register for your free ticket go to raillive.org.uk.

Rail Live and the National Rail Convention are open to all UK rail industry professionals – there are no admission fees. It’s best to pre-register at raillive.org.uk to ensure rapid entry into the show.