Freight Square at RailTech Europe 2017 in Utrecht

A dedicated Rail Freight Square will form part of RailTech Europe 2017, which organisers say promises to be bigger and better than ever. Freight workshops will also facilitate the sharing of good practice when the conference and exhibition takes place at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht, in The Netherlands from March 28-30. 

More than 100 exhibitors have already signed up for RailTech Europe, which will also feature the Rail Innovation Awards, Rail Career Day and a Startup Fest for supporting industry entrepreneurs. The event will focus on three themes: the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS); digitalisation on the track; and track maintenance. Confirmed speakers include Wim Fabries (ERTMS), Raymond Soeters (ProRail), Marc Antoni (International Union of Railways) and Rolf Dollevoet (TU Delft).

Rob Vos, Event Manager for RailTech Europe organisers ProMedia Europoint, said it was shaping up to be a record event: “We expect more than 150 exhibitors and 7,500 visitors from across the European rail sector. The Netherlands is the main target, but we see every year a substantial increase in the number of foreign visitors.”

Rail Freight Square

The rail freight sector will play an important role at RailTech Europe, hence the inclusion of a Rail Freight Square, featuring around 1,500 m2 of floorspace, encompassing workshops tailored specifically for the freight sector. “Shippers, port operators, carriers, logistics managers, transport, shipping and forwarding companies will exchange knowledge together over three days,” said Vos. “The program will include more on cross-border rail freight transport, driving under different voltages, language barriers and track access charges.”

Freight workshops

It is intended that as wide a range of topics as possible are covered in the workshops, which are designed to bring like-minded professionals together to discuss techniques which can benefit the freight sector as a whole. These could include anything from the utilisation of Big Data within Wayside Train Monitoring Systems (WTMS) to radio tagging wagons for enhanced tracking, and methods for common occurring reporting to the sharing of information across European member states.

Innovation in the rail sector has also always been an important pillar of the event, and the Rail Tech Europe 2017 Innovation Awards will be presented in the areas of infrastructure, rolling stock and technology. The jury is comprised of Dennis Schut (UIC), Erik Siggers (Dutch Railways), Chris Verstegen (ProRail), Rolf Dollevoet and Matthias Landgraf (TU Graz).


Another new feature will be the Rail Tech Startup Fest. Young innovative startups will present their ideas and products for improving both the freight and passenger sectors, with the best idea taking home the Rail Tech Europe 2017 Startup Award.

“All in all it looks like being the most successful RailTech Europe ever,” added Vos. “Companies that are interested in participating can download the brochure. All the information is available at and registration for visitors will open in early January. We look forward to seeing everyone on 28, 29 and 30 March at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht. “

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Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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