Looking ahead to InnoTrans 2022: Philippe Citroën, UNIFE

Posted: 12 September 2022 | | No comments yet

Ahead of InnoTrans 2022, Global Railway Review asked Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, what he is expecting from this year’s event.

Phillipe Citroen

What are you most interested in seeing at InnoTrans 2022?

After two years of pandemic restrictions, I am most interested in seeing colleagues from across the rail supply industry and the wider sector. Beyond the social value of reconnecting, this InnoTrans edition will be held after a substantial period of introspection about our industry, its benefits to society during normal periods, its essential nature during emergencies and areas that need to be improved. I am interested in exchanging these experiences and how they can be used to create economic recoveries, climate action and more cohesion.

What is your main reason for attending the event this year?

UNIFE believes attending InnoTrans is of strategic importance to advancing our priorities.

European rail suppliers are key enablers of reliable, accessible, and sustainable transport throughout Europe. They are also significant economic contributors. As their representative association, UNIFE believes attending InnoTrans is of strategic importance to advancing our priorities, in the framework of the Green Deal, on the Single European Railway Area, the technologies and innovations that will make it a reality and the legislative and technical progressions that must occur before it can get up and running.

Additionally, we will be unveiling, together with Roland Berger, the latest edition of the World Rail Market Study during the event. As with past versions, this publication will serve rail stakeholders as the definitive guide to navigating these challenges by providing a thorough forecast of the global rail market.

What do you think are the main challenges the railway sector will face over the coming years?

While the pandemic seems to be finally receding, we are now experiencing its aftermaths and issues that lingered throughout that crisis, such as supply chain disruptions, economic slowdowns, and shrinking accessibility for European suppliers worldwide.

To what extent do you think InnoTrans helps and supports the rail sector in its transformation?

The rail sector is, like the mode of transport itself, deeply interconnected. Suppliers, infrastructure managers, railway undertakings and policymakers all work together to create a landscape that best moves people and goods across the EU, neighbouring regions, and the wider world as seamlessly as possible. We will also have the opportunity to discuss research and innovation, as well as the progress made by the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-Rail), the Shift2Rail successor programme.

UNIFE fully supports the European Commission’s (EC) recent Action Plan to boost long-distance, cross border passenger rail: Acceleration of ERTMS deployment, revision and actualisation of the TEN-T Regulation, financial support for suitable rolling stock, support for a rail skills strategy, promoting rail among young people and creating a level playing field between modes and in public procurement will be key to decarbonisation and digitalisation.

What would you like to see more of at future InnoTrans events?

We would like to see more of the rail community at InnoTrans! We will have a very extensive programme at Stand 660 in Hall 27, and we encourage everyone to come and take advantage of the multitude of discussions that we will be hosting with a wide variety of speakers. Our programme features representatives from the EC, the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), EU-Rail, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, other influential institutions and, of course, UNIFE’s members.

To name just some of the topics we will be exploring: the aforementioned World Rail Market Study results at its launch, our international cooperation with American associations APTA and RSI and Canada’s CARS, Gender Equality and Skills and attracting talent to the industry. There will be plenty to see and hear throughout the event, we hope to see all of you there.

Visit UNIFE at InnoTrans: Hall 27, Stand 660

Global Railway Review will be exhibiting at InnoTrans in Hall 6.2 at Stand 460. Please visit here to arrange a meeting with the Global Railway Review team.