NETHERLANDS: Encompassing a trade exhibition and conference, Rail-Tech Europe takes place in Amersfoort this month.

Held every two years at the Royal Dutch Jaarbeurs since its launch in 1997, the Rail-Tech Europe exhibition is on the move. This year, the Dutch rail industry will gather on March 29-31 at De Rijtuigenloods in Amersfoort, a converted former NS maintenance depot.

Promising 'a complete overview of products and services in the field of railway infrastructure and rolling stock', more than 100 representatives from the supply industry are expected to attend. The venue also has 400 m of track for demonstrations of rolling stock and plant.

In addition to the exhibition, the organisers are also holding a parallel conference on March 29-30. Entitled 'Improving Railways - Investments & Efficiency', the agenda focuses on how rail investment can be maintained in an age of austerity. Among the topics to be addressed are how best to include societal and regional benefits in a national funding framework, and how the gap between concession terms and investment returns could be bridged.

A highlight among the presentations will be an address by Bas Oosthoek of ProRail and Erland Tegelberg, Launch Manager at NS Hispeed, which will use HSL-Zuid as a case study. The presentation will assess the importance of systems integration in complex infrastructure projects, and the speakers will explain that delivery of a cross-border high speed line is only possible when this role has been clearly defined. They will also emphasise the need for an 'alliance approach' with common goals to deal with multiple contractual interfaces.

Other confirmed speakers include Wolfgang-Dieter Richter of Siemens Mobility, Leo van Dongen from rolling stock maintenance business NedTrain, and Andreas Schöbel of the Institute of Transport at Technische Universität Wien.

Visitors are able to register to participate in a technical visit on March 30 to the nearby Simulator Centre operated by NS Reizigers.