New Tunnelling Area at EXPO Ferroviaria: Italy’s Meeting Place for Builders and Operators of Tunnels and Underground Spaces


For the first time at EXPO Ferroviaria, a unique area dedicated to tunnelling technology will provide companies specialising in the construction & equipping of tunnels and underground spaces with a prime location to showcase their technologies. Developed in cooperation with the Italian Tunnelling Society (SIG), this new area aims to create more opportunities for exhibitors and a major attraction for visiting industry professionals.

The focus will be placed on construction equipment and plant for tunnels and underground spaces, construction products and materials, micro tunnelling and trenchless technologies, fire protection and safety systems, communications and security equipment and systems, pollution control and ventilation equipment, as well as electrical and lighting systems. The Italian Tunnelling Society (SIG) is globally acknowledged as one of the most respected gatherings of professional tunnellers in the world, and brings together numerous companies and professionals operating in the field of tunnelling in Italy, including public companies, research organisations, universities as well as engineering and contracting firms.

Due to its complex morphology and geology, Italy is – and always has been – one of the countries with the highest number and length of tunnels in the world. Surrounded by the sea and connected to the continent through the Alpine mountain range, it is this specific morphology, paired with its intense urbanisation and complex topography, that explains the peninsula’s need for connections. These specificities have always constituted decisive factors in the development of infrastructure projects.

Currently, rail projects in Italy continue to attract significant investments and to generate numerous business opportunities for suppliers to the tunnelling sector, with extensions and improvements to the network that include substantial tunnel construction. Making the headlines are the Brenner Base Tunnel, the Terzo Valico high-speed rail link and the Hirpinia section of the Naples-Bari high-speed railway line, all of which will be, upon completion, among the longest railway tunnels in the world. There is also a strong emphasis on the modernisation of existing tunnels by upgrading fire safety, lighting and ventilation systems.

These projects and trends have led Italian builders and engineers to gain global recognition and valued experience in underground works, as well as in the development of innovative technological solutions, all providing positive background to EXPO Ferroviaria 2021. Building on its strong record of attracting the high-ranking visitors that exhibitors wish to meet, the event will provide an ideal venue for tunnelling suppliers targeting this busy market to present their technologies and capabilities. Expected visitors will include representatives of: civil engineering, consulting and construction companies; tunnel operations and maintenance organisations; mainline and urban rail infrastructure authorities; transport agencies; public utilities; safety and security specialists; regional and national government officials.

EXPO Ferroviaria will return to Fiera Milano Rho from 28th to 30th September 2021. Every 2 years, the exhibition targets railway specialists at all management levels, from key industry contractors, suppliers and sub-contractors, equipment manufacturers, to public transport operators and management authorities. Technical workshops, seminars, round tables and conferences hosted by high-level industry experts and speakers are in the programme. EXPO Ferroviaria’s recurring features also include an on-track display for live machinery demonstrations, allowing companies to find smart solutions to meet their needs.

Organised by Mack-Brooks Exhibitions, EXPO Ferroviaria is part of a series of targeted trade events for the railway industry, including SIFER in France and Railtex and Infrarail in the UK, all taking place in the second half of 2021 to support the recovery of the European rail market. Altogether, the exhibitions form a network of 25,000 visitors, 40 industry partners and 1,300 exhibiting companies looking to grow their business. Among the ranks of confirmed exhibitors at EXPO Ferroviaria 2021 are small and medium-sized companies as well as large enterprises involved in the tunnelling sector, including Leica Geosystems SpA, ETS Srl, Sina Spa, Fibre Net Spa and LEF Holding Srl.