Railtex 2004 Review
15 December 2004 - thanks to Ted Knotwell for this article
The Railtex exhibition was held at the Birmingham NEC in early November.
This was the seventh Railtex exhibition, the first being held in 1993. The number of exhibitors was down from 585 in 2002 to around the 400 mark this time, the explanation given being the current uncertainty in the industry, with talk of an order hiatus on main line, suburban and light rail systems upon fulfillment of the current work-in-progress. Even so an estimated total of 9,000 visitors were expected over the three-day event.
With regard to the on-track plant exhibits there were just two on display. On the Harsco (HTT) stand there was a green liveried 2 + 4wD road/rail John Deere “Gator” DP270/032 of 2004.
Bance 4wD trolley 084/2003 was on the Bance stand in the customary bare metal finish.
Rather surprisingly, there were 3 steam locomotives on display. A replica of Stephenson's Rocket, built at Springwell in 1979 was on the Corus stand. On the Hunslet Engine Company (LH Services) stand was ex North Wales slate quarry (Dinorwic) narrow gauge 0-4-0Stoc HE 1429, built in1922 named "Lady Joan" and resplendent in maroon livery. The third steam exhibit was a 7¼ inch gauge American-style miniature 2-4-2oc black tender locomotive named "Sandy River" which normally works on the Brookside Miniature Railway at Poynton, Cheshire.
Also presented on the Hitachi Limited stand was a mock-up driving coach of their "A-Train" complete with demonstration controls in the cab. The accompanying brochure includes technical specifications of 4 different versions :- Commuter, Suburban, Express and High-Speed.