Skip to main content
Return to overview

IHHA Rio 2023: A Throwback to the 12th International Heavy Haul Association Conference

15 September 2023 | 

IHHA Rio 2023, the "12th International Heavy Haul Association Conference" took place from August 27-31, 2023 at the Windsor Convention & Expo Centre in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. voestalpine Railway Systems was a proud Gold Sponsor and presented itself with a booth in the exhibition area with innovative system solutions for heavy haul transport.

Conference Theme: Sustainability in Heavy Haul Transport

The central theme of IHHA Rio 2023 was "Application of Heavy Haul Innovations for a Sustainable World." In a world increasingly focused on environmental preservation and sustainable practices, this conference aimed to address the challenges and opportunities within the heavy haul transport industry.

With over a thousand delegates from 38 countries representing 280 companies, the conference served as a global hub for knowledge sharing and collaboration. The five-day event was divided into two days of technical workshops and three days of conference sessions, with a total of 198 presentations covering all 50 topics and subtopics related to heavy haul transport and sustainability.

Notable Speakers and Insightful Presentations

IHHA Rio 2023 attracted a distinguished line-up of speakers, each offering a unique perspective on the challenges and innovations in heavy haul transport:

  • Jochen Holzfeind, CTO of voestalpine Railway Systems GmbH, delivered an impressive keynote address entitled "Sustainability, a Key with Several Characteristics". Holzfeind's presentation explored the multifaceted nature of sustainability in the industry, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to environmental responsibility.
  • Rainer Hochfellner, Product and Sales Manager at voestalpine Rail Technology GmbH, provided thought-provoking insights in his presentation "Rail Requirements in the Age of Climate Change: Optimizing Core Values for a Sustainable Environment". Hochfellner's discussion highlighted the key role of rail infrastructure in mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • Uwe Ossberger, CTO of voestalpine Railway Systems GmbH's Turnout & Fixations Profit Center, presented "Modern Heavy Haul Turnouts for Higher Tonnage", providing valuable insights into the latest developments in turnout technology to efficiently handle heavier loads.

Networking Opportunities

Beyond the enriching presentations and workshops, IHHA Rio 2023 provided an exceptional platform for networking and connecting with fellow railway enthusiasts and experts from around the globe. The exchange of ideas and experiences during the conference fostered collaborations and partnerships that are essential for driving innovation and sustainability in heavy haul transport.


As a Gold Sponsor of the event, voestalpine Railway Systems played a crucial role in supporting and enriching the conference experience. Our innovative system solutions for heavy haul transport demonstrated our commitment to advancing the industry while minimising its environmental footprint.

In conclusion, IHHA Rio 2023 was a resounding success, promoting sustainability, knowledge sharing, and international cooperation within the heavy haul transport community. We extend our gratitude to the organizers, the esteemed speakers, and everyone who contributed to making this conference a memorable and impactful event. As we look back on IHHA Rio 2023, we remain inspired by the progress made towards a more sustainable and innovative future for heavy haul transport.