The future of mobility

Taking place every two years in Berlin, InnoTrans is the world’s leading trade fair for transport technology

At the 2016 event, 2955 exhibitors from 60 countries presented the global rail industry’s innovations to 137,391 trade visitors who came from 119 countries. Organised by Messe Berlin, InnoTrans extends across the entire Berlin exhibition grounds, covering 41 exhibition halls, and an outdoor display area, where vehicles will be presented on tracks that are located directly adjacent to the exhibition halls. These attractions are rounded off by a high-level supporting programme.

Given the scale of InnoTrans, in order to ensure that exhibitors and trade visitors are able to keep their bearings, the event is sub-divided into five segments:

  • Railway Technology
  • Railway Infrastructure
  • Public Transport
  • Interiors
  • Tunnel Construction

One of the major attractions of InnoTrans is the Convention, which features high-profile panel discussions and expert talks on current and future-focused mobility topics. The InnoTrans Convention includes: Dialogue Forums, Rail Leaders’ Summit, International Design Forum, International Tunnel Forum, Public Transport Forum, DB Innovation Forum and International Bus Inno logoForum.

Occurring on Tuesday 18th September, The Rail Leaders’ Summit (RLS) provides transport ministers and the chief executives of international transport companies with the opportunity to exchange views. It is planned and run by Deutsche Bahn AG: the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and Messe Berlin GmbH. 2018’s topic is ‘RAILtropolis – The future of cities is rail’ and is attended by invitation only.

While this supporting programme is undoubtedly a vital component of the success of InnoTrans, what really attracts visitors and exhibitors is the fact that they can view or demonstrate products and services, in particular new and future mobility solutions, at a compact and concentrated event.

Some exhibitors are regular attendees, while others are new – for example KEOLIS, a subsidiary of SNCF, is a newcomer to the event and will be represented on its own stand at the CityCube in hall A. This year will also see a transport company occupy an entire hall, when Poland’s state-run rail network PKP is represented in hall 16.

Other companies will be at the CityCube again, which is also where the forward-looking Rail Baltica project co-ordinated by RB Rail AS can be found.

In what is predicted to be a highlight of the event, DB Technology and Digitalisation is presenting the ‘Ideenzug’, an innovative train. As Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke, member of the board of DB Technology and Digitalisation explained: “With our new innovative train and all-new vehicle compartment designs we aim to offer public transport customers an entirely new travel experience.”

This includes designs for sports, premium-class compartments as well as for work, public viewing and relaxation areas. “Digital customer information and entertainment are also important aspects,” Jeschke added. “Our aim is to inspire public transport buyers and convince them to incorporate innovative and customer-oriented ideas in their future calls for tender.”

Another way that rail companies are represented at InnoTrans is through trade associations and federations – a total of 23 national and international associations from countries including Australia, Denmark, the UK, Romania, Sweden and the Czech Republic are going to be present, and they deal with many of the organisational arrangements for the booths and for travel to the event.

For example, under the aegis of the SWISSRAIL Industry Association, 46 of its more than 100 member firms are represented on more than 1000 square metres of display space at InnoTrans. Spread over two combined stands in the Railway Technology and Railway Infrastructure segments of the trade fair, the displays by Swiss manufacturers of vehicles and components as well as service providers, cover every aspect of rail transport.

Another long-term exhibitor at InnoTrans is the Spanish industry association MAFEX, with over 70 member firms, almost half of which are attending the 12th InnoTrans.

In Hall 4.2 the Association of the European Rail Industry UNIFE will be representing 14 national rail industry associations and 95 direct member companies.

Given the highly advanced technological solutions that are on display at InnoTrans this year, it’s no surprise to learn that the organisers of the event have also embraced a range of innovations to ensure that visitors have an efficient and enjoyable experience at the show.

A much wider range of data is now provided online, focusing on the convention as well as on the exhibitors, products and innovations. In the run-up to the trade fair, trade visitors can make detailed plans and arrange appointments with their most important contacts. In addition to business tools, the website also provides details about travel to the event, online ticket sales, accommodation, information on the many useful services on the exhibition grounds, and after-work events too.

One of the most impressive tools available for visitors is The Virtual Market Place®, which is used for planning and networking. It contains all the relevant contact information about exhibitors at InnoTrans, as well as addresses and details about their home base. With this virtual system visitors can follow a series of direct links which will bring them to their business partners, whose short profiles and products can also be found at

There is also an InnoTrans app which constantly shows their location and is a useful aid to orientation in the 41 halls and on the extensive Outdoor Display as well.

Visitors to InnoTrans also have the opportunity to participate in various organised tours, including Innovation, Career and Executive. There is also a Travel Catering & Comfort Services Route, and a Speakers’ Corner, where exhibitors can speak freely for an hour on any subject they wish, and these are as diverse as the trade fair itself.

The 2018 InnoTrans event promises to be an extraordinary spectacle, embracing innovation at every level and adopting a variety of new approaches to ensure visitors have the best experience possible, and exhibitors attract the most relevant parties to their stands. It is truly shaping up into an event not to be missed!
18-21 September, 2018
Berlin Exhibition Grounds, Germany