Every other year Berlin, Germany hosts the purportedly largest railroad industry exhibition in the world: InnoTrans. There the railroad industry displays its newest and best it has to offer: Be it new locomotives or something as mondain as rail clips. It appears that 2016 was another banner year for the show. According to the Berlin Messe press office around 130000 people had signed up to attend the three day rail industry schmooze fest this year.
The indoor exhibition space is around 1.8 million square feet, spread over 26 halls. To show off locomotives, coaches and other rolling stock there are two and a half miles of track in the outdoor exhibition area, connected to the main rail line for easy access.
Frankly I never quite thought of and realized the nitty gritty required when building a coach or a whole train. Or how much is involved in just keeping the railway running smoothly. Just take a look at the various categories of exhibits:
The indoor exhibits are only accessible to accredited people, i.e. folks working for the railroads or the rail industry in general, public transportation and the press. The "public days" are Saturday and Sunday and only the outdoor exhibits can then be viewed.
So, without further ado, here are some of my photographic impressions (in no particular order or theme):
For diesel locomotives and DMUs Motoren und Turbinen Union Company (MTU) displayed some massive diesel engines and crankshafts:
And here is an example of what happens when somebody forgets to check the oil level. The destroyed electric motor stator from one of the drive motors of a UK Class 66 locomotive:
Replacements are available. From a company in Ireland:
Brad and myself spent two massive days taking in InnoTrans. Even then we did not get to see a vast area of the exhibition halls. For example we never made it to the area where the companies responsible for on board catering and equipment showed their wares.
More about the outdoor exhibits in Part Two.
All photographs by Ralf Meier (Sony a7R (4K) and Brad Wing (iPhone 5) unless otherwise indicated.