LONDON – TRANSPORTATION – There has been a steady growth in rail freight and passenger volumes across the globe and new business models are reshaping the rail landscape. In addition to the continuation of this trend, the influence of information technology in rail is expected to open opportunities for rail market participants to make advances in telematics, automation and energy efficiency. The global rail market is expected to provide significant opportunities in terms of growth as investment in new priority rail projects and government initiatives are expected to drive volumes and private investment in rail.
While Canada, in terms of passenger rail service lags behind much of the world, the global direction is one likely that will eventually see Canada take steps to move into the future as faster rail
The demand for improved efficiency in the rail industry is expected to drive the market for advanced asset and fleet management tools, new rolling stock, and upgrades to rail infrastructure. Rail OEMs, operators and service providers will expand capabilities in predictive analytics and remote asset management, and also focus on prognostics, safety enhancements, and wireless security solutions. Rail companies across the industry are required to adopt new business strategies and launch new services through mergers and acquisitions.
There will be significant investments in software and Big Data platforms, as well as the adoption of rail telematics for intermodal freight and the use of predictive analytics to enhance performance of railway operations. Future needs will be focused on implementing machine learning to automate processes. “Foreign investment and expertise is utilized to gain access to new generations of rail technologies forming symbiotic relationships between technologically advanced countries and the purchasing countries,” finds Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Krishna Achuthan.
Major enhancements to rail infrastructure are a key focus in Europe. Projects of EUR 341.05 billion in cost are underway across Europe. Of these over EUR 194.26 billion worth of projects are still estimated to be addressable by market participants. More than $19 billion will be invested by federal grants over a 4-year period, starting in 2015 in North America. GE Transportation won orders for over 1,000 locomotives in India and over 233 locomotives in South Africa
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