Rail industry gears up for Railtex/Infrarail 2021


Showcase: Railtex/Infrarail allows suppliers to show their latest developments to the industry in person.

Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre hosts the new joint Railtex/Infrarail 2021 exhibition, bringing together two well-known trade shows in one event. More than 180 categories of products and services will be represented from around 50 countries.

The Railway Industry Association’s Unlocking Innovation programme will be present, with sessions each morning and afternoon. These will cover high-level challenges and opportunities, near-term challenges, help with funding and partners to take innovations to market, and elevator pitches from a range of contributors including small and medium sized enterprises and start-ups. RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan says the show comes at a ‘vital time’ for the rail industry as it recovers from the pandemic.

Next to the presentation area, presenters and colleagues will be exhibiting at the Unlocking Innovation Showcase stand, with organisations including Network Rail and its Innovation Development Centres, as well as High Speed 2, InnovateUK and regional authorities.

Demonstrations will take place, and two lengths of track in the exhibition hall will allow exhibitors to display and demonstrate tools and equipment, giving visitors a chance to see how kit works and operates. There is also space for plant and machinery at the show.

Standing up: more than 180 categories of product and service will be represented at the show.


The Modern Railways team will be covering Railtex/Infrarail throughout the show, reporting on developments and meeting suppliers. If your company has a development you think will be of interest to readers of the UK’s market leading railway publication, please contact andy.roden@keypublishing.com

Speaking up: the Railway Industry Association will have a major presence at Railtex/Infrarail, with its Unlocking Innovation programme a major highlight.

RIA’s Meet the Buyer/Commercial Officer programme resumes, giving businesses a chance to learn about different markets and how they can overcome barriers to getting new products and services into the UK market, while Railtex/Infrarail Matchmaking will allow registered users to search and connect with new and existing business contacts, manage event schedules and arrange meetings. A recruitment wall, meanwhile, will showcase exhibitors’ job opportunities, helping to match them with the skills of visitors seeking career development.


With the caveat for all exhibitors that everything is subject to Covid restrictions being lifted by the time of the show, Schweizer Electronic will be showcasing its train detection and warning systems including Automatic Track Warning Systems, Signal Controlled Warning Systems and level crossing technologies.

Pfisterer is celebrating Network Rail approval of its KP 5HL voltage detector, meaning it can now be used on UK infrastructure. The KP-Test 5HL serves to verify the lack of voltage in electrical energy systems, enhancing the safety of workers on or near them. It is designed specifically for the application of ‘test before touch’. This tester comes with an adaptor for use with existing pole types.

Learning opportunity: conferences feature heavily in the programme for Railtex/Infrarail.

Omicron has a major presence at Railtex/Infrarail and will be showing the latest developments of its CIBANO 500 circuit breaker test system, which now offers the new current sensor measurement. This allows operating times of circuit breakers to be determined accurately even though the GIS is grounded on both sides. The CMC430 is claimed to be the lightest and most precise protection test set in the world. Omicron says it is ideal for testing numerical and communication-based relay and measuring systems.

Zonegreen will be explaining its Points Converter technology, which has recently been installed at Nottingham Eastcroft depot for East Midlands Railway. The device automates manual points levers, meaning staff do not have to navigate ballast to reach points. Points are operated by a key switch panel on a local walking route and it is designed to enable more converters to be added, along with a centralised control system should it be expanded. It attaches directly to the hand point mechanism and moves the switch with a hydraulic actuator. Multiple units can be linked and operated from a distance, using a remote handset which enables predefined routes to be programmed in advance.

With attention growing to improving accessibility at stations, Visul Systems’ tactile paving seems likely to garner attention. The paving is glued to platforms, making it quick to install with minimum disruption to passengers. It also offers GRP gratings, stair nosings and line marking paint.

Railtex/Infrarail offers a welcome return to normality – and a chance to see some of the latest developments at a time of huge change in the industry.