The first National Track Plant Exhibition, “The Track Innovation Showcase”, is to be held on 24 and 25 July 2013 at Long Marston Business Park near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.
The event is sponsored by Steve Featherstone, Network Rail programme director – track, and is being organised by Infrastructure Projects track innovation team in response to its suppliers’ requests to show off their capabilities. “We are looking forward to meeting our suppliers and seeing some great practical innovation that will allow us to be more productive, use less track access and hand back reliably at higher line speeds”
Plans are still being finalised, but on show at Long Marston will be:
- A rail and road connected exhibition area demonstrating track delivery methods and plant;
- First hand innovative track construction methods;
- Face to face networking across the track delivery supply base;
- Showcase of UK Innovation;
- Network Rail track inspection vehicle
- Practical demonstrations of equipment;
- A full eight-hour live track renewal;
- Network Rail’s helicopter with its high definition cameras.
All in all, it is intended to be an educational and thought provoking experience for all visitors.
The exhibition area will be in zoned areas offering on-track plant, on-track machines, welfare, surveying, lighting and the practical
Hands On test zone where visitors will be able to try using small plant, tools and equipment for themselves.
What will be on show?
Over fifty of the industry’s main plant suppliers have already confirmed their attendance. The major contractors will be showing off what they can do with Amey, Colas, Babcock, Balfour Beatty Rail and Carillion all committed.
There will be smaller plant from the likes of Geismar, GOS Engineering, SRS and Aquarius, surveying equipment from Topcon, generators from Aggreko, small tools from Torrent Trackside, Hilti and Clayton Equipment. There will even be the public launch of Pandrol’s new VIPA-VALIANT track baseplate, as mentioned in David Shirres’ article on EGIP elsewhere in this issue.
There will be almost everything you can imagine – all in one location in the middle of England.
Where is it?
The Long Marston Rail Alliance storage depot is just south of Stratford-upon-Avon. Honeybourne, Stratford-upon-Avon & Warwick Parkway are the nearest stations. Formerly a Ministry of Defence storage depot, it is now used by railway operators and leasing companies for short and medium term storage of redundant rolling stock. So there is plenty of track for storage, and plenty of track and space to show off railway plant to its best effect.
Uma Shanker, head of business improvement and engineering for the IP track programme said “We started off with our test site at Grange near Stoke and then moved to Gloucester as the demand grew. We have had to move again as the demand outgrew the space! Suppliers are keen to show off their latest innovations in action on a real bit of railway, and there is no other show that allows this. We are also not charging exhibitors for the space, rather working with them in partnership to put on a great show. I am grateful to the Rail Alliance and Rail Media for helping us out.”
The site is easily accessible by road, it is 20 minutes from the M40 and 40 minutes from the M5. Just put CV37 8QR into your favourite map site.
Invitation to the National Track Plant Exhibition has been extended to all rail professionals interested in track delivery, including Network Rail Track Delivery personnel and its suppliers. You will also have the opportunity to meet and network with the new ‘On Track Plant specialists.
As there will be live demonstrations, all exhibitors and visitors are required to attend in PPE. Admittance to the exhibition will not be allowed without boots, high-viz trousers and jackets/vests… so don’t forget them!
To book a free ticket, and to reserve car parking, visit the website.