|Poster on July 16, 2019
Top Five Trends That Will Shape The Global Rail Industry
Amidst growing competition and changing passenger expectation,
global rail companies must embrace digital technologies. That will enable
them to have a clear view of the challenges and opportunities in the industry.
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Here are the top five trends that will improve the
reliability and availability of the global rail sector while optimizing
operational and maintenance costs in 2019.
1. Increased M&As To Improve
Consolidation remains the main tactic in the rail
industry, and last year saw some major developments. Japanís multinational
Hitachi who already owned 50.77% share capital in Ansaldo STS Ė Italian
rail transport service provider- bought 31.79% more of its share capital
to take their total stake to 82.56% in November.
The increasing rate and scale of such deals show that
the railway industry is set for more consolidation. In the fragmented industry,
companies have realized that their general innovation and business interest
can be successfully promoted.
2. Increased Focus On Digitalization
Digitalization has become a key driver for innovation
in the rail industry. It offers significant opportunities for streamlining
operations, enhancing customer experience, and improving assets reliability
while cutting costs. Itís also a key factor in enabling predictive maintenance
of rolling stock and fixed assets while deriving real-time information
on rail movement.
The adoption of AR/VR and IoT (Internet of Things)
is also providing powerful insights on asset management and performance.
Such technologies havenít been largely adopted in yesteryears, but they
will be on the rise in 2019. The potential applications include real-time
incident alarms, advanced passenger information systems, and preventive
3. Shift In Expenditure Patterns
In The APAC Region
The increasing urbanization and high population in
the APAC (Asia Pacific) region have led to a growth in the demand for expansion
of existing rail. The railway is the third largest segment in the region,
recording the highest growth in online travel booking for 2017.
Global rail companies need to observe that the Asia
Pacific governments are making big budget investments for the next two
decades. China approved a budget of $15.7 billion for urban railway projects
in Jilin province. India also increased their focus on metro rail connectivity,
approving projects valued at Rs 1.07 lakh crore. With such opportunities,
OEMs and technical service providers will focus on these regions in the
4. Uk-EU Brexit Impact
Though the UKís position in the EU hasnít changed,
there could be analytical impacts on the British economy when they finally
exit. The railway generated £8.8 billion in 2014-2015, owing to immigrants
and tourists coming from the EU. This growth in the number of travellers
facilitated high investments in high-speed lines, commuter rails, and metros.
As such, the UK exit in the EU will highly affect revenue generation as
it will restrict the free movement of tourists.
5. Cyber-Security To Take Center-Stage
B-side of railway digitalization is the associated risks and exposure
to weaknesses that emerge while bridging the legal ecosystem with new technologies.
As boundaries between different segments of railways continue getting thin
with an increase in digital tools, the threat landscape is expanding.
Rail companies must thoroughly assess all components
of the digital infrastructure which the network relies on. Theyíll need
to partner with the right cyber-security experts to identify and prevent
hacking and boost passenger safety. Security protocols will have to be
regularly updated to stay two steps ahead of the malicious attacks.