France’s railway supply industry ranks second in Europe and is the world’s third largest, with an annual turnover of around €4.2 billion. Up to one third of its output is for export. The sector directly employs more than 21,000 people and supports close to 84,000 jobs on the national territory. The government is currently evaluating a comprehensive strategy to overhaul the rail transport system around three main objectives: refocusing rail transport on its area of relevance, creating the conditions for a return to economic equilibrium, and preparing for the opening to competition.
Lille – hub of France’s rail supply industry
Lille Grand Palais Exhibition Centre is the dedicated venue for all recent SIFER events. Located at the heart of the Hauts de France region, it is the leading centre for the rail supply industry in France. Companies based there, from large manufacturers and equipment suppliers to over 200 SMEs/SMIs, account for 40% of the national railway manufacturing activity. The region is also home to research organisations developing the cutting-edge technologies that will help shape tomorrow’s railways.
France's rail network
- 30,000 km of railway lines operated, over half of which are electrified. The French network is the second largest in Europe, behind the German network.
- 2,600 km of LGV high-speed lines. France has the second high-speed network in Europe, behind Spain.
- 9 million train services using the SNCF Réseau network each year
- SNCF fleet includes 470 high-speed trains, 3,000 locomotives, 2,720 DMUs and EMUs, and 4,700 coaches
- Increasing competition in the freight sector; scheduled opening to competition in domestic passenger transportation
- Metro systems in six cities, light rail lines operational, expanding or planned in 27 urban areas
SIFER, the showcase of a major market
France is one of Europe’s major rail markets. Investment continues in national and urban networks, creating great opportunities for companies providing innovative solutions to performance, economic and safety needs. For companies serving this market, SIFER provides a unique showcase for their capabilities. Well established for 20 years as the essential industry meeting place, it is France’s only regular exhibition devoted entirely to railway technology, attracting senior managers and engineers with real purchasing and decision-making authority.
SIFER is a must-attend event in France to showcase the expertise and the latest innovations by Mecateamcluster® members. Manufacturers and buyers also welcome the collective approach of member companies and the collaborative work developed within the Mecateamcluster® in order to meet their expectations.
Colas Rail participated to SIFER for the first time at the 9th edition, in 2015. We got to meet the major players in the French and European industry. The highly qualified visitors that the exhibition brought to us showed a strong interest in OSCAR, our new headphones communicating system, which was the main attraction on our stand. We were able to highlight our innovations and meet partners, as well as local and international suppliers. SIFER has become an unmissable event in terms of infrastructure and railway innovation.
East Japan Railway Company broadly seeks superior technology and goods. We wish to find high-quality and low-cost goods with sufficient after-sales services in a timely manner. This is the reason why we exhibit at SIFER.
The French Railway Industries Association (FIF) considers SIFER as the major international showcase for the French rail industry, with participation by exhibitors from more than 20 countries. The event is a platform for exchanges within the railway sector.