Freight innovators celebrated at RailTech Europe 2017
The role of digitalisation in the freight sector was just one of the issues focused on at the successful RailTech Europe 2017 event in The Netherlands, which attracted more than 7,700 rail professionals.
Predictive Maintenance of Rail Infrastructure and the vital role of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in freight also came under the spotlight over the three days, with presentations from a range of national infrastructure managers, freight forwarders and suppliers and academics.
Belgium-based Move Intermodal meanwhile was presented with the Rail Cargo Innovation Award for its work in developing solutions to promote modal shift to rail.
Day one (ERTMS) speakers included Pio Guido, Head of ERTMS at the European Agency for Railways, Jean Baptiste-Simonnet, Senior Technical Adviser at the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, Wim Fabries, of the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Agriculture, and John Collins of UK infrastructure manager Network Rail.
On day two, digitalisation was the key focus, with presentations from Raymond Soeters and Arjen Boersma of Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail, Dr Matthias Landgraf and Dr Markus Enzi from the Technical University of Graz, Harald Jony, Director of Energy Management & Sales at ÖBB Infrastruktur, and Anna Nicodemi, Service Manager at Swedish traffic manager Trafikverket.
The final day’s topic was predictive maintenance, and speakers included Marc Antoni from the International Union of Railways, Maurice Feijen, Senior Service Architect at Thales Transportation Systems, Inge Thys of Belgian rail infrastructure manager Infrabel, and Lex van der Poel of railway safety innovators Dual Inventive.
RailTech Europe’s annual awards ceremony, marking excellence in the rail sector, saw the Rail Cargo Innovation award presented to Move Intermodal. Their entry highlighted the drive across Europe for a modal shift policy towards rail, to help address environmental and congestion issues.
Intermodal traffic has increased its market share in recent years, utilising three types of load units: the closed ISO container; curtain-side swap bodies; and crane-able trailers. The latter serves the same markets as ’tilt swaps’, which also use the same markets as ISO containers. This, says Move, makes the tilt swap more practical for rail transport because the required wagons are more widely available, lighter, cheaper and more efficient in length. Working with partner Wecon, Move Intermodal came up with an improved lighter tilt swap, part of a transport unit also consisting of a tractor and container chassis.
Video highlights of RailTech Europe 2017: