AROUND 7000 visitors and delegates are expected to converge on the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 23-27. Prominent among them will be delegates attending the 53rd Congress of the International Union of Public Transport, which is sharing this modern venue with the City Transport 99 exhibition. Supporting events include a conference organised by the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the American Public Transit Association annual conference, which is to be held at the Sheraton Centre hotel.

Theme of the 53rd UITP Congress is ’An Urban and Congestion-free 21st Century’. Speakers will include UITP President Jean-Paul Bailly, UITP Secretary General Hans Rat, and Managing Director of GO Transit Richard Ducharme. Specialist workshops will cover a wide spectrum of topics that include electronic cash and smartcards, airport links, service planning and innovations, automated operations, information technology, regionalisation, and competition, contracts and concessions.

Official hosts for the Congress are the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Toronto Transit Commission and GO Transit. The organisers are promising ’an exciting agenda of workshops and technical tours ... with special after-work events that will showcase our transit systems, this city and province’. Technical tours include the 6·4 km Sheppard Subway under construction, the Wilson Carhouse maintenance and repair shop, Union Station, and GO Transit’s Willowbrook maintenance complex. There is a pre-Congress trip by train to Niagara Falls on May 23. Main sponsors of the Congress are Alcatel, Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Siemens, and other sponsors include Transport Canada, Adtranz, Hatch Mott MacDonald, CN and Vapor.

Around 70 manufacturers of railway equipment will be at City Transport 99 in the MTCC, where both North and South halls will be occupied. Rolling stock suppliers will include Adtranz, Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation, Ansaldobreda and CAF, with the Japan Overseas Rolling Stock Association representing its member companies.

Electric traction equipment will be on display on the Elin stand, and power converters and other components will be available for inspection on the stand of Transtechnik of Germany. Running gear exhibitors will include bogie supplier Naco and Italian wheelset specialist Lucchini. Coach refurbishment company PFA of Germany will have a stand, as will drive equipment supplier Pintsch Bamag and transmission company Voith Turbo GmbH.

Alusuisse Road & Rail, which continues to develop its expertise in lightweight rolling stock design, will be present, but the Swissrail Export Association will form the main Swiss representation. Other Swiss suppliers in Toronto will be Dilax and cable protection specialist PMA.

Fare collection, where smartcard technology is rapidly gaining ground, will be an area of particular interest, and suppliers to look out for include AES Prodata and Automatic Systems of Belgium, Ascom Autelca of Switzerland and Ascom Monétel of France, Dassault Automatismes, and Scheidt & Bachmann of Germany. Suppliers of passenger information systems that have booked space include Luminator, Spear Technologies, and Meister Electronic.

Exhibition visitors will be able to inspect train and tram doors on the stands of Bode from Germany, Vapor Corp of the USA and IFE of Austria. Brake gear specialists Knorr Bremse, Bremskerl Reibbelag Emerling and Wabco Passenger Transit Division, which is part of Westinghouse Air Brake Co, have all booked space; other component manufacters with displays include current collection equipment supplier Brecknell Willis, Deuta-Werke, and gangway company Hübner.

Track components will be found on the stands of Ortec, the Permanent Way Corp, Hanning & Kahl, point heater supplier Pintsch Aben and welding and maintenance equipment supplier Railtech International, which is part of the Delachaux group. Windhoff, which builds maintenance vehicles and supplied Cargosprinter DMUs to Germany, will be featuring a range of its products.

Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning is another area attracting attention; exhibitors include Kiepe Elektrik, Sütrak and Stone Air.

Several operators are planning to be at the show, and among these are Brussels City Transport and French National Railways. Engineers will be attracted to the stand of Transportation Technology Center Inc, the AAR subsidiary that runs the test facilities in Pueblo, Colorado. Consultants include Canac, Italferr, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Systra, TTK Transport Technologie Consult Karlsruhe and Rail Consult Gesellschaft für Verkehrsberatung.

Other suppliers with space booked include Alcatel, ABC Rail Systems, ALB Klein Technology Group, Brandt Road Rail Corp, signalling and communications equipment suppliers Contec of Germany, Envirorail of France, Ferrostaal, John Holdsworth, the Iron Horse Engineering Co, Isoclima of Italy, Motorola, SNC Lavalin, Schneider Automation and Spain’s Albatros group.