RailTech Belgium 2023: what is it all about?

Belgium is an important crossroad for railway traffic in Europe, and the Belgian government has launched ambitious infrastructure renewal and systems integration campaigns. To connect the international railway industry with the Belgian market to network, and exchange and share knowledge and insights, we are organising the first edition of RailTech Belgium on June 6-7 2023 in Brussels.

RailTech Belgium is a two-day event including a networking evening on June 6, and a one-day pop-up exhibition accompanied by workshops as well as a separate high-level conference programme on June 7.

Two conference topics will be central, each taking place one half of the day. On the morning of June 7, we focus on ‘Making rail the backbone of transport’. In the afternoon, the Investments and infrastructure renewal of Belgian ports are in the spotlight.

Conference sessions

When it comes to rail, Belgium is a frontrunner in several areas, such as rail electrification and the rollout of ERTMS on the network. The modal split of rail for passengers in Belgium is however just 5.4 percent in 2020, which is not high but the average in the EU, and for freight 11.6, which is actually lower than the European average. What bottlenecks remain in increasing the share of rail, such as getting ETCS on board of railway vehicles, having enough capacity for maintenance of rolling stock and opening up the railway market? What can other countries learn from the Belgian rail sector, and the other way around? This will be discussed in the first conference session.

The various Belgian ports serve as cornerstones of the country’s economy. They make a major contribution to GDP and are an important source of direct employment. For this reason, Infrabel is carrying out projects to streamline, upgrade and expand the rail infrastructure in the North Sea Port area, the Port of Zeebrugge and of course in the Port of Antwerp, the second-busiest in Europe. Additionally, Infrabel is studying ways to improve the rail connections to another major port area, namely the Ghent-Terneuzen region. But are these investments sufficient for relieving the rail infrastructure, and what is the impact of rising energy costs and shortages of materials on these projects? And what role can monitoring play in facilitating extra capacity? This will be discussed in the afternoon conference session.

The call for papers for the conferences is open! Would you like to share your knowledge on one of the topics of our conferences? You can submit your abstract here. We aim to involve the Belgian railway sector as much as possible, and gladly welcome input and ideas for this first edition of RailTech Belgium.

This article was originally published on RailTech.com the organiser of RailTech Belgium.


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