The 2022 InnoTrans trade fair opened in Berlin on 20 September after a four-year pandemic induced gap since the last show in 2018. As usual, a highlight is the outdoor display, which features three new Stadler trains built for the UK.
Two examples of fleets ordered for Transport for Wales are on show – a Class 756 tri-mode Flirt and Class 398 Citylink tram-train. TfW has ordered 24 ‘756s’ for services on the Rhymney/Coryton to Barry/Penarth/Bridgend routes as part of the upgrade of the Core Valley Lines. The ‘756s’, comprising 17x4-car and 7x3-car units, are capable of operation under overhead electric, battery and diesel power, with the power pack vehicle containing a diesel genset and three battery modules. Stadler has already delivered 11x4-car Class 231 diesel-only Flirts for TfW, which will enter service before their tri-mode cousins.
The 36x3-car Class 398 tram-trains are of the Citylink design and have been ordered for the Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Treherbert routes, again as part of the CVL upgrade. They are able to operate under overhead electric and battery power and are capable of on-street operation, making provision for future extensions, with Cardiff Bay a likely candidate. The first three ‘398s’ have already been delivered to the Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC) at Melton in the UK for testing.
The third Stadler train for the UK on display is a Class 777 for Merseyrail equipped with batteries. Fifty-three ‘777s’ have been ordered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to replace the current Class 507/508 EMUs, of which seven have been ordered with batteries fitted for the non-electrified extension of the Kirkby branch to a new station at Headbolt Lane; these are designated ‘777/1’. The Combined Authority has been allocated funding to investigate the potential for further extensions of the Merseyrail network, which could prompt the fitting of batteries to further units or the ordering of additional units (there is an option for up to 59 more ‘777s’).
Other key highlights at InnoTrans include the first hydrogen trains from Stadler (for use in California) and Siemens (for use in Germany), plus the first vehicle from Deutsche Bahn's new ICE-L (low-floor) train being supplied by Talgo.
In total 2,834 exhibitors from 56 countries are using the entire Messe Berlin fairground site, with 124 rail vehicles are on display on the 3.5km of tracks.