The number of companies planning to take part in this year’s Infrarail exhibition of rail infrastructure products and services stood at more than 160 by mid-February, with plenty of new products expected to be on display and innovation promising to be a key feature of the event.

The NEC in Birmingham is again the venue for the exhibition, which takes place from 1st to 3rd May. Online registration for free visitor entry is now open via the show website Pre-registering also avoids a £15 fee payable to register on the door.

As well as an impressive line-up of exhibitors’ stands, this year’s show includes the familiar On Track Display plus a new area, The Yard, presenting larger plant and machinery used for railway construction and maintenance. And opportunities for developing business relationships will be provided by the opening day’s Networking Reception for exhibitors and visitors to the show, and by the Infrarail Awards Dinner on 2 May.

Plans for an extensive free seminar programme devised by the rail engineer are now well advanced, with an impressive line-up of keynote speakers. Minister of State for Transport Theresa Villiers will deliver a presentation on the first day of the show, with Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, London Rail at Transport for London, speaking on 2 May. Network Rail’s Director, Investment Projects, Simon Kirby will be keynote speaker on the third day, 3 May.

Also taking place, and open to all attending Infrarail, will be The Platform. This new feature will take the form of a programme of panel discussions addressing key industry topics. Panel members will include both senior figures from within the industry and outside specialists likely to introduce new perspectives to the issues being discussed.

Full programmes for all these activities will be added to the show website as they are finalised. Also available via the website is the latest list of exhibitors.