Rail Live! 2019 closes its edition with highly positive figures and renewed support from the sector

Rail Live! 2019 has closed its second edition with highly positive results. The data reflects the widespread reception that this professional event has displayed, which has already become the national rail transport trade fair and congress with the broadest international participation.

Throughout the days that the event lasted, from 5 to 7 March, at the BEC, Bilbao Exhibition Centre, it was attended by more than 3,000 people. Furthermore, the participation in the congress has expanded, with 230 speakers from more than 80 countries (80 more than in 2018), alongside growth in the exhibition area. In this area, which has increased by 157% to reach 1,825 square metres, 176 companies have unveiled their innovations and technological advances in the field of transport.

This participation is 87% higher than that obtained in the debut event.

The event counted once again on the support of the Basque Government. The SPRI Group, ETS, Euskotren and Metro Bilbao collaborated in its organisation. The event itself was visited by the Head of the Basque Government, the Lehendakari, thus showing its support for the Basque railway industry. The exhibition also boasted the backing of Adif and Renfe.

The most standout topics under analysis revolved around the advances of the industry in the digitisation of railways, mobility as a service, along with smart infrastructures. In addition, visitors have shown special interest in knowing the latest technology and projects in the field of metropolitan, long distance and high speed rail.

This professional platform is of special relevance for the industry, since it takes place at a key moment for a future that is marked by major changes such as the de-regulation of the sector. It also serves to boost the role of this means of transport in terms of sustainability, since it is the most respectful with the environment since it only emits 0.7% of total CO2 emissions compared to other modes that emit 22%.

From Mafex, it is stressed that “solely through promoting this mode of transport as a backbone of national transport policies and sustainable mobility, can the environmental objectives set by the European Union and widely assumed by the international community be wholly achieved.” Added to this environmental aspect is the low rate of accidents and rail accidents when compared to other modes of transport.

Furthermore, Mafex highlights that, to continue promoting this medium, along with platforms such as Rail Live! the support of the Public Administrations is also needed.

State political consensus

The association requests a commitment and political consensus of the State, “to define a long-term investment plan, based on a global and stable transport strategy; that is not modified by economic cycles, nor by political changes; and, that, in no case, affect projects and tenders already underway. A strategy, which has as its central axis the railway sector, in which intermodality plays a decisive role.”

In this regard, it is recalled that neighbouring countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom have been backing a policy of “sustained investment for a long time.”

Finally, it is worth highlighting that trade fairs like Rail Live! serve to put the international focus on the Spanish railway sector as “a  worldwide technological reference-point.”

In Europe, this industry employs more than 400,000 people directly (25% of the world total) in companies that provide rail products and services.  A figure where the Spanish contribution is of the utmost importance.

The next edition of RailLive! – Madrid will be held from March 31 to April 2, 2020.