From September 20 to 23, the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology (InnoTrans 2022), was held in Berlin, Germany. The exhibition, which celebrated its 13th anniversary this year, was originally scheduled to be held in 2020, but was postponed for two years due to COVID-19, and so was held for the first time in four years. InnoTrans 2022 was a large-scale exhibition occupying all 43 halls of Messe Berlin, subdivided into five categories: rail technology, rail infrastructure, public transport, interiors, and tunnel construction, providing a glimpse into the present and future of the global railway industry. In the outdoor stage where actual railcars were on display, visitors were able to experience next-generation trains firsthand.
Major info about InnoTrans 2022
The number of exhibitors and visitors at InnoTrans 2022 slightly declined compared to those of the previous event in 2018, due to the impact of COVID-19. Still, a large number of world-class companies on the edge of global railway technology trends, such as Siemens, Alstom, CRRC, Stadler, and Hitachi, took part in this long-awaited railway expo, presenting a variety of things to see. At InnoTrans 2022, about 2,834 companies from 56 countries around the world participated, showcasing 250 railway-related innovative technologies, and 137,394 visitors from 131 countries came to the Berlin event to see it firsthand.
Global railway technology trends at InnoTrans 2022
The main themes of global railway technology seen at InnoTrans 2022 can be summarized in three key words: digital, software, and eco-friendliness. The event presented a variety of displays, focusing on developing and realizing the keynote that has been in place since the 2016 fair. This trend was particularly prominent in the booths of leading railway companies participating in the exhibition.
In this year’s exhibition, Siemens showcased a new open digital business platform: Siemens Xcelerator. This is a new digital business platform that supports an open digital interface for uninterrupted data exchange between all subsystems of the rail network, providing new value to each stakeholder by connecting trains, infrastructure, operators, and passengers.
Alstom introduced its Green Traction solution, along with the latest fuel cell technologies, such as battery packs and hydrogen fuel cells. In addition to eco-friendly technologies, various digital solutions surrounding the safety and efficiency of train car operation were also introduced, such as the Automatic Train Operation (ATO), European Train Control System (ETCS), cyber security technology, and Health Hub, a railcar maintenance optimization solution.
Stadler, Switzerland’s leading railway company, also focused on “digital,” one of the most pressing themes in global railway technology. In addition, the company joined the global hydrogen train trend by introducing a hydrogen-powered electric car, for use in the U.S. for passenger transport. It also showed off seven new rolling stock models with sustainable drive solutions, including battery-powered train cars and hybrid locomotives, while introducing the latest digital solutions in service and signaling technology. Meanwhile, Grupo CAF promoted digital solutions and platforms such as Digital Depot for optimization of railcar operation and maintenance, and LeadMind, based on condition-based maintenance (CBM) and predictive maintenance.
The latest train cars fill InnoTrans 2022
At InnoTrans 2022, various new train cars developed by each company were revealed, in addition to new railway technologies such as digital solutions and software. The Coradia Stream High Capacity train car unveiled by Alstom is a hybrid train car that utilizes several power systems: diesel, electric, and dual mode, and boasts excellent operational efficiency through adoption of highly modular technology. It was designed as a double-decker train car to increase maximum passenger capacity.
The FLIRT H2, presented by Stadler, is the first hydrogen-powered train car to be showcased at the InnoTrans venue. This is a train car commissioned by the San Bernardino County Department of Transportation in the United States, and can travel up to 460 km on a single hydrogen fuel charge. FLIRT Trimodal is a hybrid train car that can charge batteries through a diesel-electric power supply, with the battery and diesel engine (power pack) installed separately from the passenger section. Stadler also displayed its TINA Tram, a next-generation tram car, featuring an integrated collision warning system and a digital interactive driver desk.
As befits the expo held in their own country, Siemens is showing off not only the Mireo Plus H, a hydrogen and battery-powered car, and Mireo Plus B, a wired/wireless hybrid, but also introduced a full lineup of Siemens railcars, including the Vectron Dual Mode electric locomotive, which reduces carbon emissions by 950 tons over standard diesel locomotives. The Mireo Plus H offers a range of up to 1,000 km after just 15 minutes of refueling. According to Siemens, the operation of the new train car can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 520 tons a year.