FS was awarded the right to host the 11th edition of WCRR at the conclusion of the 10th in Sydney in November 2013. Among the new features of the event will be a display of rolling stock at a 1200m track area at the Stella Polare congress centre in Milan. In addition FS is introducing "Proof of Concept" sessions at the event. Here presenters will show certain innovations through interactive demonstrations at individual tables with a power source available for the 10-20 available presentation slots.

Alongside traditional "Today's Research" presentations during afternoon sessions, the conference's morning sessions will directly address the theme of the conference - innovation and long-term vision - through two parallel sessions dedicated to "Vision and Future." These slots will specifically address long-term developments in the railway industry up to 2050 and will include presentations from leaders in other industry's to discuss their approach to fostering innovation.

In total between 180 and 280 papers will be presented during the conference, addressing 49 specific topics across eight themes:

• rolling stock

• infrastructure

• railway system

• passenger mobility from door to door

• freight logistics

• sustainability

• economics and policy, and

• operation and safety.

Mr Alessio Gaggelli, locomotive procurement manager at Trenitalia, who is part of the Italian Organising Committee and was speaking during a presentation to journalists in Rome on March 12, said FS is aiming to improve the conference by presenting high quality papers, increasing audience participation and interaction. However, he emphasised the event is a forum to present innovations and not for manufacturers to market their latest product.

"We don't want sales pitches," Gaggelli said. "For this reason the track will only be open to railway operators. We hope it will provide a forum to present innovations in railway service or interior design."

Another new concept is the e-poster presentations. Large touch-screens and computers will be available for presenters to display multimedia versions of their poster which is hoped will lead to more effective presentations