Transport industry leaders must take responsibility for sector advancement
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of InnoTrans 2018, Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said that the innovation and digitalisation currently disrupting the transport sector are encouraging signs that it is heading in the right direction – even if sometimes it’s too easy for the mainstream media to focus on the negatives.
Significant investment in Germany’s railways is now being made, but at what cost to the sector’s image? With great investment comes greater media scrutiny – a fact not lost on Andreas Scheuer during his opening address at InnoTrans.
As a result of this, it seems frequently from a passenger perspective that the rail sector is bogged down with insurmountable problems, when really, innovation is rife throughout the industry. InnoTrans, then, presents a chance to set the record straight.
Addressing the audience, Scheuer said that we only need look at some of the problems being addressed in the industry and the innovative nature through which they’re being solved to see that the work being done in the sector really is laying the tracks to the mobility of the future. The future is looking greener and smarter everyday, and the industry is coming up with great new ideas at the same rate, said Scheuer.
Problem solving is key in every industry, but in an industry like transport, where innovation is pushing boundaries like never before, the expectations are high, as emphasised by Scheuer.
“We must work to ensure people can travel safely and cleanly. We have some important goals,” he said. “We want to double ridership in the next 40 years. We are reinforcing competitiveness. We are encouraging digitalisation to make railways more up to date.”
A significant part of this is expanding capacity, something that Scheuer was keen to point out cannot be achieved only with steel and concrete. More investment is set to bring ECTS, further electrification; generally, a rail network that can compete, and integrate with, other modes of transport much more closely.
Digitalisation and innovation are hugely important to the industry, and will help make the transport ecosystem more viable in the future. Real-time date and innovative ticketing are two areas that Scheuer highlighted as particularly important in these areas.
Transport is an increasingly attractive sector for investors, but must continue to prove that is the case. In conclusion, Scheuer urged rail leaders to take the initiative and ensure that they, plus their staff and engineers, are jointly responsible for making rail and transport across Europe better.
Infrastructure & Urban Planning
Federal Ministery of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, InnoTrans 2018