AROUND 2000 delegates are expected to attend the 55th World Congress of the International Union of Public Transport, being held in Madrid on May 4-9. Theme of the event is ’The Challenge of Integration: Turning Multimodality into Seamless Mobility’. UITP Secretary-General Hans Rat says ’the integration of transport services is our sector’s ultimate challenge for the coming decade.’ The occasion will also mark the introduction of Spanish as UITP’s fourth official language. Congress sessions will debate a wide range of topics from information technology for seamless travel, through public-private partnerships to improved policies for urban mobility.

The parallel Mobility & City Transport exhibition at the Juan Carlos I exhibition centre has drawn interest from all corners of the world. Hong Kong’s Kowloon - Canton Railway Corp will be exhibiting, and there will be a large delegation from UITP’s new Latin American Division. Local hosts Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid will be showcasing recent developments in the Spanish capital, including expansion of the metro network. Other operators at the show include RATP from Paris, De Lijn from Belgium and Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe.

All three major systems integrators will be present, including Bombardier. Fully-automatic metro technology will be central to Alstom’s display, which will also feature interior designs for its Metropolis family of metro trains. Highlights of the Siemens stand will be a 3 kV DC traction converter for the Civia regional EMUs being supplied to Renfe, and the automation equipment for Barcelona Line 9. Spanish train builder CAF will have details of its latest technical developments, and another local company present will be Patentes Talgo.

Japan’s Hitachi is aiming to win a share of the suburban train market inEurope. Rolling stock builder Stadler will have its own stand, but other Swiss firms will share the Swissrail Export Association display. National pavilions will provide a focus for companies from Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the UK.

Knorr-Bremse, IFE and Westinghouse Brakes will be sharing a stand. On display will be EP2002 brake controls, an oil-free piston compressor and WZK pneumatic brake calliper units. Staff will be on hand to discuss the platform screen doors supplied to various metros.

Systra staff will be explaining their recent consultancy work, including project management for the initial 17·7 km tram route in Toulon. Other consultants include Rhein-Consult and Rail Consult Gesellschaft für Verkehrsberatung.

Among the numerous rolling stock component suppliers will be traction equipment specialists Kiepe Elektrik, Elin EBG Traction, Schaltbau, Sécheron, and transmission manufacturer Voith Turbo. Hübner will show its latest gangways, while dampers and suspension components will be displayed on the Paulstra stand. Lucchini will exhibit its latest wheelset technology. Contitech will be showing its air springs, with information on the rubber sprung wheelsets for Trambaix in Barcelona. Alcan Alesa Engineering will be displaying its expertise in lightweight bodyshell design and manufacture.

Fare collection suppliers will include Ascom Autelca, Automatic Systems, H